Savory Tomato Pie

YIELDS | 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 45 MINS Plus cooling time 60 MINS

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This is a savory, herbaceous pie that highlights the bounty of tomatoes from summer’s end. This easy Tomato Pie is perfect for Meatless Monday. Simply omit the bacon or sub with vegan bacon. I found myself slicing slivers of it cold straight from the fridge though I did allow the family to have some too 😍

INGREDIENTS

* 3 pounds assorted medium to large heirloom tomatoes
* 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
* 6 thick-cut bacon slices, diced, or vegan bacon, optional
* 2 large shallots, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tsp.)
* 6 ounces aged extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
* ½ cup mayonnaise
* ½ cup chopped fresh basil
* ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh chives
* 1 large egg
* 1-9” pie shell store bought or home made
* Fresh basil leaves
* Minced fresh chives

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Set aside enough tomato slices to cover the top of the pie, about 7 or 8 slices and place on top of paper towels to absorb the excess juice. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and set aside. 

2. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray or oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the remaining tomatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until blistered and slightly dried. Cool completely, about 1 hour.


3. Meanwhile, cook bacon, if using, in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fat is beginning to render, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chopped shallots, and cook until bacon is crisp and shallots are caramelized, about 6 to 7 more minutes. Stir in garlic; and cook for about a minute and until fragrant. Transfer bacon mixture to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cool 20 minutes.


4. Stir together cheese, mayonnaise of choice, basil, chives and egg until combined. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Fold in the bacon and garlic. 


5. Spread a third of cheese mixture into the pie crust and then layer on half of the roasted tomato slices in an overlapping pattern then repeat this step.
6. Spread the last of the cheese mixture on top of tomato slices and then top the pie with the reserved sliced fresh tomatoes. Press the tomatoes and filling into the crust . 

7. Bake the pie until the filling is set, about 40 to 45 minutes and then transfer to the wire rack, and let cool for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with basil and chives, kosher salt to taste and freshly ground pepper to taste. 



NOTES

German Potato Salad

YIELDS | 12 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 25 MINS

COOK TIME | 20 MINS

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The is a savory, tangy and salty German potato salad to eat alongside a good bratwurst and sauerkraut. Bonus it is a Double Duty Recipe because the leftovers make a delicious potato pancakes. Recipe at Verysmartideas.com search “pancakes”.

INGREDIENTS

* 3 cups diced peeled potatoes
* 4 slices bacon
* 
1 small onion, diced
* 
¼ cup white vinegar
* 
2 tablespoons water
* 
3 tablespoons white sugar
* 
1 teaspoon salt
* 
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
* 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.

Place the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add onion to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir and bring to a boil, add the potatoes and parsley. Crumble in half of the bacon and stir.
3. Heat through and transfer to a serving dish. Crumble the remaining bacon over the top, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and serve warm.

NOTES

Pierogies with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 35 MINS

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This is a semi-homemade, family pleasing, easy to make and incredibly tasty dish! The secret to this fast, savory and delicious dish is the store-bought pierogi. This dish comes together in minutes and I guarantee even Brussels sprout haters will become converts! Use vegan bacon or omit all together for a vegetarian version.

INGREDIENTS

* 8-10 strips thick cut bacon
* 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, about 30, rinsed, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
* 2 packages (24) frozen Mrs T. Potato and cheese pierogies
* 1/4 cup good quality balsamic dressing
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
* Freshly cracked pepper and kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425° on a baking sheet lined with parchment, spread the bacon on the parchment and cook the bacon for 15 minutes.
2. Remove the bacon (it won’t be cooked all the way through), set aside.

3. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts and still frozen pierogie to the bacon fat and mix together until coated. Pop back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes more.

4. While the pierogie and Brussels sprouts bake, chop the bacon.

5. Remove the Brussels sprouts and pierogie from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped bacon. Bake for 10 more minutes.

6. Remove the pierogie mixture from the oven and let cool slightly and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

7. Carefully place the pierogie, bacon and Brussels sprouts on a serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, a few good cranks of cracked black pepper and flaky salt.

NOTES

Gigi’s Peach and Bourbon Sangr

YIELDS | 1 Pitcher, about 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | X MINS

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Fresh, juicy peaches, mixed with sweet nectar and bourbon make this cocktail especially light and refreshing with a kick from Kentucky Bourbon. This is a great transitional cocktail and once you make this recipe you may not go back to traditional sangria again.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 lb fresh yellow peaches, sliced, about 3-4 medium plus a few slices for garnish
* 10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1/4 cup sugar or to taste, optional
* 1/2 cup peach liqueur or peach schnapps
* 1/4 cup bourbon
* 1 bottle light wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Rose.
* One cup peach nectar
* Club soda to top off.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the thyme to infuse the mixture.
2. Pour into ice-filled glasses, top off with club soda.
3. Garnish with a slice of peach, a couple thyme sprigs, optional.

NOTES

Tomato Peach and Panzanella Salad

YIELDS | 4-6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS plus 20 MINS marinating

COOK TIME | 25 MINS with grilling

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This recipe is a take on the classic Italian Panzanella bread salad. I decide to take full advantage of this seasons gorgeous tomatoes and ripe, juicy peaches. I omitted the onion and basil and added mint and oregano to brighten the dish. Grilling the peaches highlights the rich, sweet flavors of the peach and combines beautifully with the fresh tomatoes. The burrata, optional, adds a creamy cool note that brings this salad together.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 loaf crusty bread, torn into chunks about 5-6 cups
* 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to drizzle
* 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
* 3 large tomatoes, quartered
* 3 large ripe peaches, pitted, sliced. I like to grill the peaches but this is optional
* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 1-8oz ball burrata cheese, ripped into pieces, optional
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper plus more as needed
* 2-3 sprigs each, fresh mint and oregano, stems removes and chopped
* 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large bowl, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil. In one layer, place the bread on a rimmed baking sheet I and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Shake the pan halfway through the cooking time and bake until golden brown. 

2. While the bread toasts, in the same large bowl, add the tomatoes, (if grilling the peaches do this now, let cool) and then add the peaches, remaining olive oil, vinegar and a sprinkle of kosher salt and mix gently. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
3. Place the tomatoes and peaches onto a serving platter but leave the accumulated juices in the bowl. To the bowl, add the remaining olive oil, vinegar and a few cranks of fresh ground pepper.
4. Scatter the bread mixture evenly over the tomatoes and peaches, sprinkle on the fresh herbs and then nestle in the burrata cheese into the salad. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad.
6. Finish with a garnish of pine nuts, a generous drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt to taste.

NOTES

I like this salad served at room temperature. I let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving to allow for the bread to soak up some of the dressing but not get soggy.

Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME 0 MINS

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This may be the quintessential summer soup. Served cold, it is light, refreshing and highly nutritious. This versatile soup would look beautiful on a table set for brunch, a wedding or holiday but it is easy enough to make for any weekday meal. Use cashew yogurt and veggie broth for a wonderful vegan option.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
* 1 small avocado, peeled and coarsely chopped.
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
* 1 tsp kosher salt
* 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
* 1/2 cup vegetable stock.Slices of thin cucumbers for garnish.
* 2 tablespoons shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pour all ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until very smooth.
2. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
3. Pour into individual bowls, garnish with pistachios, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil.

NOTES