These last few years, we've really enjoyed planting a small garden in our back yard. We don't have a whole lot of space back there so our little garden patch is limited in size. But we like to plant a little something every year. I think it helps Alex to appreciate growing his own food but it is so enjoyable to pop out back during the summer and grab a tomato off the vine or some fresh dill to make refrigerator pickles. There is a lot of satisfaction and pride from being a small-time gardener. And if you pick some easy to grow food, like tomatoes, you'll be surprised at how much you enjoy the process. I'm not really a great gardener to be honest. In fact, I have managed to destroy quite a number of plants over the years. Apparently I should stay away from growing watermelons. But tomatoes I can handle. And there is nothing yummier than a BLT sandwich made with some fresh tamaters fresh off the vine. The flavors going on in this pie are crazy good. Fresh tomatoes, with crisp bacon and the flavor of the fresh basil just takes it to another level. Then you add all that melty cheese on top - holy moly!
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
1 (9-inch) frozen pie crust, baked (or make your own)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/2 cup bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
I'm using a Mexican Quesadilla cheese here. Mainly because I had a coupon for it but it is also a great melting cheese. You can use any cheese you'd like. Just make sure it's not a real hard cheese that may not melt well in the oven. Also, you may only need 2 tomatoes for this - it just depends on how large yours are.
I usually just go with a frozen pie crust when making this recipe. A deep dish pie shell works well here so you can layer all those tomato slices in there. If using a frozen pie crust, you'll need to let it defrost on the counter for about 10 minutes, then prick the crust with a fork (this keeps the crust from getting too puffy while baking). Then bake it using the instructions on the back of your package (usually 400F degrees for about 10-12 minutes).
If using my Wham Bam Pie Crust, you'll prepare as directed, prick the crust with a fork (like pictured below) and then prebake at 400F degrees for about 10-12 minutes.
Allow your crust to cool slightly.
Turn oven down to 350F degrees.
Start layering tomato slices on the bottom of the pie.
Season with some freshly ground black pepper.
Then top with green onions, basil and crumbled bacon.
In a bowl, combine 1 cup mayonnaise with 1 cup of shredded cheese.
Spread the cheese mixture on top of your pie.
Bake at 350F degrees for about 30-35 minutes (until golden brown). If the the edges of your pie crust are becoming too brown while baking, you may want to put some aluminum foil around the edges of the pie, just covering the crust for the duration of baking.
This pie is tasty served warm but is still yummy as it comes to room temperature as well.
Just be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.