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Monday, July 13, 2009

Recipe: Tomato Mozzarella Pie

Initially, I didn't want to post this recipe because it came from a cookbook and I don't like copyright infringement. However, I've made 3 of them now and feel like I've changed the recipe enough to call it mine. It originates from the resort where we stayed in Belize, and when we had it there, we had it as an appetizer with a small Caesar salad on the side. I think a larger piece would make a nice lunch or light dinner, with a little Caesar salad and maybe a grilled chicken breast or tuna. I haven't had it that way, I've mostly brought it to potlucks (I brought it Saturday to my family reunion).

For the pie crust, I've always been lazy and used a pre-made refrigerated crust, but you can certainly use a homemade one if it's what you prefer. If you like to use fresh garlic (I do not), you can use 4 garlic cloves and chop them. I've used reduced fat mozzarella, but I always use real mayo (light mayo often sucks). You probably could use light mayo if you really must. I use a deep dish pie plate, which means I often have to add extra of all of the ingredients to really fill it up (so buy extra if you do this). That also means that a Pillsbury pie crust will be a tad too small, which I really like because I don't like a lot of extra crust. You can see what I mean in the photo below of the pies I made for the reunion.

Tomato mozzarella pies. on Twitpic

Tomato Mozzarella Pie
Serves 8

1 pie crust
4 medium sized tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons bottled chopped garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
fresh ground pepper

Bake the pie crust according to instructions for 8 minutes (so that it's a little cooked, but not fully cooked). Make sure you pierce the crust with a fork. While it's cooking, chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a collander over a bowl. The goopy tomato juice and seeds will drain out, which is great. As you chop the tomatoes, turn them in the collander so that more juice will drain.

Once the crust is done and has cooled for a few minutes (it doesn't have to be completely cool), sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella cheese in the crust. Top with the tomatoes so that the pie crust is about 3/4 full. Chop the fresh basil and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the garlic on top of the tomatoes as well. In another bowl, mix the mayo, parmesan cheese and the rest of the mozzarella. Spread on top of the pie. If there are holes in the cheese layer or if you can still really see the tomatoes, you may need to make and add extra of the mayo/parmesan/mozzarella mixture on top (this depends on the size of your pie plate as well). Grind some fresh ground pepper on top, to taste.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. About halfway through cooking or so, you will need to pull the pie out and wrap the crust in foil so that it will not get too brown or burn. Pie will be bubby and brown on top when it's done. It can be served warm, but not too hot. It goes super-fast when you bring it to a party.

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