I can’t believe August is almost over with. Growing up in the South, Tomato Pie was a staple for a quick meal when my sister and I would spend the weekends at my grandparents. During these weekends we would also help my grandmother with her garden, there were always so many tomatoes during the month of August. Because we were young too, we weren’t crazy about eating tomatoes, as many kids are. Tomato Pie was always something that my grandmother could make that my sister and I would eat. As I’ve grown older I have found memories of this dish, but I wanted to put a twist on it and make it a bit more health.
For the creamy element combine one-forth a cup of greek yogurt, one-forth cup of mayonnaise, one cup of sharp cheddar cheese, one-forth a cup of pecorino cheese, one whole diced jalapeño until fully combined. Set aside.
If you are unfamiliar with pecorino it is a hard sheep’s cheese. Pecorino and parmesan are similar Italian cheeses. Parmesan has a more nutty and a more mild cheese while pecorino has a saltier and more tangy flavor to it. If you are unable to find pecorino at your local cheese counter it can be replaced with parmesan (but make sure you get the real stuff for Italy, it makes such a difference!).
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of butter, then add three cups of spinach a whole head of roasted garlic until the spinach is wilted. Then add one-forth a cup of fresh basil, one-forth a cup of goat’s cheese, and two tablespoons of almond milk. Turn down to medium-low heat and cook for five minutes so all the flavors can meld together.
To roast garlic, wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let the garlic cool for a few minutes, cut the bottom off and you will be able to squeeze the cloves out. You can also use any milk of your choice, I just prefer almond milk because we don’t keep cow’s milk in our house.
Now to assemble this delicious pie! When it comes to pie crust I always just make my own, it’s pretty easy (I say that but I had a bit of trouble with this crust). For just one layer of crust you need one cup of flour, half a cup of butter, and three tablespoons of sugar. Put all the ingredients in your food processor and pulse until it looks like a crumble. Then add a five tablespoons of ice cold water at the dough will start to combine. I wanted to make this a savory crust so once the dough was combined it added some oregano, parsley, and pepper to taste.
When I made this crust I was going to memory and thought that it was equal parts flour and butter, I fixed it a bit. However, the crust is just too buttery so that why it doesn’t hold up as well as it should have been.
Assembling the pie is simple, just alternate layers of the creamy spinach, yogurt/cheese sauce, and tomatoes. You want to make sure that you end up with tomatoes for the last layer, just makes it a bit more pretty. I finished off the pie with a quarter cup of pecorino, salt, pepper, and oregano.
Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cool for five minutes and enjoy those delicious summer tomatoes.
CREAMY SPINACH AND TOMATO PIE
2 tablespoons of butter
3 cups of fresh spinach
One head of garlic, roasted
1/4 cup of goat’s cheese
2 tablespoons of almond milk
1/4 cup of greek yogurt
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
One cup of shard cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of pecorino cheese, shredded, two portions
One whole jalapeño, diced
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons of oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter, add spinach, roasted garlic until the spinach is wilted. Then add fresh basil, goat’s cheese, and almond milk. Turn down to medium-low heat and cook for five minutes so all the flavors can meld together.
- Combine greek yogurt, mayonnaise, sharp cheddar cheese, half the pecorino cheese, diced jalapeño until fully combined. Set aside.
- Alternate layers of tomatoes, creamed spinach, and yogurt/cheese mixture.
- Top with remaining pecorino, oregano, salt and pepper and bake for 35 minutes.