Tomato Pie

Tomorrow I’m going to an outdoor play with a bunch of people, and even though it wasn’t strictly necessary to bring a meal to share, I decided I would anyway. Coincidentally I had a lot of tomatoes to use up. I queried my social networks and ended up getting talked into tomato pie.

Now, I am not a Southerner. Tomato pie is a distinctly Southern food that I’ve never even eaten, let alone thought about making. But it looked easy, so I decided to go for it. Looking at the mayonnaise content, though, nearly gave me a heart attack. Luckily, my CSA recently posted a recipe for homemade mayo that made me feel better about slathering a pie in 3/4 cup of it.

So the first step was making the mayo.

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You need: eggs, a lemon, canola oil, olive oil, salt, and mustard.

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The eggs, lemon juice, mustard, and salt went into my trusty stick blender.

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After mixing in the oil, I poured it into a jar, and this is the final product. It’s delicious and rich. Like store mayo but ten times better. I find the consistency a little thin, but that can be improved with more oil, and probably with extended refrigeration.

Important tips: the eggs are raw. There’s no way around that. If you’re not keen on eating raw eggs, you shouldn’t use this recipe. But you can avoid getting sick if you use safe eggs (know your source), keep it in the fridge, and don’t use it in recipes that will be left out all day. Once you’ve made it, use it inside of a week.

Even though about half this batch went into the pie, there’s a bunch left. I foresee many sandwiches this week.

Next, it was onto the pie.

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(Yes, it’s a pre-fab pie crust. Shh.)

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In the crust: a whole yellow onion, chopped; a jalapeno, chopped, for a little kick; 6 or 7 roughly chopped and seeded tomatoes.

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Topped with 3/4 cup mayo mixed with 1/3rd cup Parmesan and a little more than that in mozzarella.

And 35ish minutes later…

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Can’t wait to cut this up tomorrow!

What I Had for Lunch Today

I had the day off work today, so I decided to use the time cooking things that are sometimes too fancy for everyday meals.

First up: beet soup. I had a bunch from the last couple weeks’ CSA pickups, and it’s kind of dreary out today, so it seemed appropriate. I followed this recipe from Allrecipes. (Without the heavy cream.)

After roughly chopping an onion, I threw in some fresh, uncured garlic that came from the farm. Check this out!

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The cloves have a lovely pinkish skin that peels off as easy as a jacket. They don’t smell very strong. It’s not really what I imagined. A couple of times I’ve driven through Gilroy, California, widely known as the only place in the world you can season a steak by hanging it outside. This definitely doesn’t smell like Gilroy on a summer afternoon.

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Next I peeled and chopped the beets (and also clogged the garbage disposal, but luckily all it needed was a good plunging). The recipe called for 6 medium beets but I used 8, because 4 were small and 4 were large. I like that the different sizes are different varieties. They look so nice piled up like that.

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Anyway after a million years (approximately) of simmering I got to pull out the stick blender my boyfriend gave me for my birthday (is he not the best? He totally is.) and I made a nice chunky puree. I could have gone smoother but I liked the texture as it was. Also I was *really hungry.*

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The end result was buttery and sweet, strongly reminiscent of sweet corn. Next time I need to add something to sharpen the flavor. More black pepper, maybe. I had some with a chicken and squash stir fry over brown rice, and two hours later I’m still pretty full. I’d consider that a win.

Later, I’m going to make calzones with chicken, ricotta, and more of that damn Swiss chard, as well as basil from the CSA. The dough will be from scratch, of course. I just need to get up the energy for it. Lunch was a four-burner event.