Tomato Pie with Ricotta, Pesto, and Bacon

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’m obsessed with fresh tomatoes. I usually spend at least a third of my budget on tomatoes whenever I visit the farmer’s market. And usually I just get them home and eat them sliced with kosher salt. But recently I’ve been thinking of other applications for fresh tomatoes aside from the usual go-to’s like caprese salad or tomato sauce. And then it hit me – pie! A cheesy pie!!! Mmmm.

I layered ricotta cheese (whipped with egg and pesto) with thick fresh slices of tomatoes and crumbled bacon, all topped with fresh mozzarella cheese to create a sinfully delicious and comforting meal that could easily feed 6 if not 8. Perfect for a chilly fall evening. Serve with fresh hot crusty bread and a salad – it’s divine. And if you’re a vegetarian, you can replace the bacon with some sauteed spinach and garlic… but do you really not want bacon? I don’t think so.

Before I give you the recipe, a brief word about pie crust. I have long been an advocate of Pilsbury refrigerated pie crusts. They are delicious and can usually be found fairly inexpensively, particularly around the holidays. However, I recently have become obsessed with making my own pie crust just because it’s on my list of things I want to get good at making. For this pie I used a recipe I found in a book I have called Pastry Cook by Catherine Atkinson. The results were pretty remarkable, but I would still not hesitate to go the Pilsbury route if you’re not feeling that ambitious. I don’t really want to spend blog space on pie crust, but if you’re looking to take the leap into homemade, I would start with Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust. That bitch can make some pie.

Whatever you do, it’s tomatoes, bacon, and cheese – it’s not going to be bad!!

Tomato Pie (Recipe PDF)

Monday Lunch

Mondays are my favorite day to have lunch. Why? Because Monday is the day after I visit the farmers’ market, which means I have a plethora of fresh produce to choose from. More often than not, my Monday lunch consists of slices tomatoes with kosher salt and (if I have it) some ribbons of fresh basil. I do this partially because tomatoes bought from vendors like this have a very short shelf life. And partially because I just friggin love fresh tomatoes. Sure, there’s lots to be done with them, from panzonella to tomato sauce… but I don’t know, when they’re this good and this fresh, I find it so satisfying just to eat them as they are. No cooking, no fuss, just pure natural goodness. I think next week I will devise something creative to do with them…. a pie, perhaps… but for now, simplicity wins.

Speaking of the farmers’ market, I came home with quite a bounty yesterday. What’s my item of the week? Fava beans. Mmm. Two-pound bag of dried favas for $6. More posts on this in the coming days. Hope everyone is enjoying fall so far!

Farmers’ Market Bounty