EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


September 6, 2013

A close relationship with the tomato

Savory pie makes use of summer's bounty


But that is another story for another day.

I found this recipe, the Winning Best Overall Pie at the Portland Pie-Off in Oregon, several years ago. I was intrigued by the recipe itself, using caramelized onions to accompany the fresh tomatoes and then topped with cheddar cheese; you can’t go wrong with this savory pie.



4 to 5 large tomatoes, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 10-inch pie crust

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

2 cups medium cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons butter

11/2 large sweet onions, sliced in 1/4-inch rings (Vidalia or Walla Walla sweets work best)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon spice mix (Italian herbs or other favorite seasoning)

1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper, separated

Salt to taste


Preheat oven to 350º degrees.

Melt butter in a sauté pan and add onions. Cook at medium-low for about 30 minutes until caramelized, stirring every few minutes to avoid burning.

Lightly salt tomatoes and drain in colander for 20 minutes.

Pre-bake pie shell for 10 minutes in 350-degree F. oven with pie weights to avoid bubbles.

Mix cheddar with mayonnaise and 1/4 teaspoon of the cracked pepper and set aside.

Add one layer of tomatoes to pie shell and cover with dash of salt, pepper, sugar and basil. Add the rest of the tomato slices and seasonings in layers.

Spread cheese mixture evenly on top of tomatoes.

Sprinkle spice mix on top of cheese.

Add caramelized onions to the top of the pie in an even layer.

Bake pie at 350-degrees for 30 minutes. Cover with foil if the crust begins to burn.

Good to hear from you

A few weeks ago I received this letter from Zena, a reader who lives in Lawrence.

Dear Patricia: I am looking for a recipe for “Red Kidney Bean Dip.” I first had it in the 1970s at a restaurant called Arthur’s Town House in Lawrence, off of Essex Street. If you can find it I would love to have that recipe.

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