Tomato Pie and Grape Rosemary Pockets

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. How many ways can I use a tomato? We’ve made marinara, ketchup, tomato sandwiches, BLTs, cucumber and tomato salad, and tomato pie. You may ask, what is tomato pie?  That is the most common response when I mention the savory dish. Its a southern dish that I was introduced to last year. Mark loved it and I thought it was, well, okay but I saw potential. I think it had a lot of mayo and cheese both of which I’m not crazy about. I found another recipe for tomato pie that balanced out the cheese and mayo with herbs and caramelized onions (!!!!!!). I made it and it was a hit. I think it might be Mark’s favorite dish. Its perfect for lunch or a lighter dinner with a salad. 
I feel I must warn you – this recipe takes a bit of time. Its not hard, just time consuming. Definitely one for a weekend or when the kids are taking a good nap in the afternoon.

Tomatoes releasing their juice so the pie isn’t soggy.
Baked shell out of the oven.
The cheesy, caramelized onion layer.

Ready for the oven. Brooks wanted a piece. I told him he had to wait.
Half gone. I think Mark ate most of it. Did I mention that Mark loves this pie and really everyone else who tries it?
Tomato Pie
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
1 pre-made crust (you can make your own, but I think this works just as well)
3 to 4 large beefsteak tomatoes (try using yellow tomatoes)
1 large onion
1 tbsp olive oil
handful of fresh herbs (I recommend basil, parsley, and oregano)
1/4 c high quality mayo
3 tbsp bread crumbs
1 cup of cheese (I use 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cheddar, 1/4 mozzarella)
1 tbsp salt, plus 1/2 tsp for onion/mayo layer
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Bake crust with foil and beans or pie weights inside the crust for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool on rack.
While crust is baking, thinly slice the tomatoes and place in colander with 1 tbsp of salt. Let drain, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Then start on the onions. Thinly slice the onions and saute with the olive oil for 15 minutes. Cool.
When onions have cooled, combine the mayo, cheese, herbs, bread crumbs, onions, and salt and pepper. Up the temp on the oven to 375.  Fill the crust with the mayo/onion/cheese mixture and then place the tomatoes on top. Bake for 50 minutes. 
And now a couple of pictures of my favorite boys.

In honor of the games (I’m a huge fan), I made these grape and rosemary pockets. They’re not exactly British, but I was inspired by a similar pastry that I saw on Jamie Oliver’s show, “Oliver’s Twist.” I watched all seasons available on Netflix during the first months of Silas’ life. I was a bit obsessed. I hope to meet him someday. So, since Oliver is a Brit, I thought these would do to celebrate the opening of the Games.

These turned out fabulous. I wasn’t sure when I was making them how they would taste, but I figured the pizza dough cost about a buck, the grapes were only $3, and the rosemary was from our garden. If they turned out weird, I wouldn’t feel bad tossing them. Luckily, they turned out awesome! Something about the sweetness of the grapes and the savory of the rosemary really made these tasty.

Like the Band-aid?  Its got Cars on it. That’s what happens when you have two boys in the house. No more boring beige.

The color was off on this photo because I wanted them hot while we watched the Games and I usually do most of the food pictures with natural light.
Grape Rosemary Pockets
Inspired by Jamie Oliver, “Oliver’s Twist”
Pizza Dough
3 cups red seedless grapes, halved*
1 tbsp rosemary, minced
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top of pockets
Egg/Water/Milk Wash
Preheat oven with pizza stone to 425. 
Combine the grapes, sugar, and rosemary. Stir and allow to sit for 15 minutes up to 3 hours.
Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll out each piece to fit about 2 tbsp grapes. 
Crimp or twist dough to enclose the filling.
Brush each pocket with milk, egg, or water. Sprinkle each pocket with sugar. 
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. 
* I’m a pinch and dash kind of cook. Basically, I do a lot of guess work and not a lot of measuring (I know I need to be more exact, especially when writing recipes) when I cook. So if you find you need more grapes add more. 

Cucumber Salad

This salad is summer in a bowl. It has been sustaining us for the last month as we eat our way through our cucumber harvest. I think it would be fair to say we eat this about 3 times a week.
Silas loves it and its so easy and quick.
Its my go-to veggie when I’m stressed and lack creativity and and my house looks like this and my kitchen looks like this.
This salad was on the table for most of my summers growing up. My mom made it, my Grandma made it, and Great-Grandma made it. I’m sure you’ve probably seen it or had it before. There are different ways of making it – with tomatoes or without, some use oil, and others Italian dressing (Mark’s family makes it this way). This is my family’s way and we love it! Did I mention that we eat it 3 times a week? It has 6 (7 if you like onions) ingredients and its delicious.


And it goes great with anything – pork, hamburgers, rice, beans, and fish (pictured above).
Cucumber Salad
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 tomato, sliced (optional)
1 onion, sliced (optional)
1/2 tbsp of salt
2 – 3 tbsp sugar*
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup vinegar**
Combine cucumbers and tomatoes and onions (if using) in a bowl. Then sprinkle the salt, sugar, and pepper. Then add the vinegar and toss.
*You can use less/more sugar depending on your taste.
**I used 1/2 cup of vinegar in the pictures above. If you decide not to use the tomatoes or onions use 1/4 cup of vinegar. I like cider vinegar but you could use white or rice vinegar.
This past week my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins came to spend a week with us. They are big fans of the blog and Cameryn (pictured above) really wanted to have her picture on the blog. Here you go Cameryn. Thanks for playing with the boys! We had fun!