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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tomato Slab Pie with Cornmeal and Parmesan Crust


       Yes.  You caught me.  I am "borrowing" another recipe from Mollie at Frugal Hausfrau.  She has been on a big cornmeal kick lately.  It all started with her post on Polenta Budino with Plum Marmellata that inspired my cornmeal/blueberry version. Then she posted a delicious looking Orange Apricot Snack Cake with more cornmeal in the batter.  It looks and sounds delicious!  Usually I only reach for cornmeal when I need cornbread to go with ham and beans or to sprinkle a little under a pizza crust.  All of these new fun ideas had me inspired and hungry!  Then I came to yet another one of her delicious looking cornmeal recipes.  Her Garden Tomato Tart looked gorgeous, sounded delicious and allowed me to further indulge this little cornmeal obsession I have going right now.  So, Mollie - I apologize for borrowing so heavily from you these past few weeks.  I would say it's not you, it's me, but it wouldn't be true!  You are posting too many delicious looking treats and fanning the flame!



     Our tomatoes are really delicious this year and have been coming off the vines in bucketfuls, so that helped egg me on.  Not that I needed much of an excuse.  As these things go, I didn't follow her recipe exactly.  But I followed it closely enough to know hers is a real winner.  So, if you like the direction this is going, but want it in a smaller and prettier package be sure to pay Mollie a visit.  If you are looking for something fresh and fun to take to a potluck or have a small army to feed at home you are in the right place!



    There were a few reasons for my adaptations:

  1. Despite the fact I have a pretty decent collection of cook/bakeware (you know the kind that fills the kitchen, the pantry, the dining room, a couple of racks in the basement and now a bit of the coat closet... not that anyone is counting.) I don't have a tart pan.  I'll put it on my wishlist now as there have been a few times recently I wished for one.  Does anyone have a direct line to Santa?
  2. Though there are only three of us, we have regular extended family dinners so we almost always have volunteers to help eat new creations.  Plus this is a great potluck contribution or would be great for a party as it can be made ahead and served at room temperature.
  3. I am more of a rustic/free form cook for the most part.  Slab pies fit my style. You can certainly make this crust look pretty, even as a slab pie, but it isn't necessary.  It looks dressed up on it's own and doesn't need a lot of frill.

      So now you may be asking yourself how to best serve such a delightful treat.  I think it would make a great summer lunch.  Serve it alongside a nice green salad and an ice cold beverage.  It would also make a fun starter for a party.  Cut it into smaller squares and listen to your guests fawn over how delicious it is! It would also work as a starchy side to a nice grilled chicken breast and some fresh green beans or something.  However you decide to serve it, you owe it to yourself to give it a try!



Tomato Slab Pie with Cornmeal and Parmesan Crust
Serves 16 for lunch or 30 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

2 - 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
3 tsp salt

Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
6 T Parmesan cheese, grated
5-7 T cold water

Filling:

1 onion, diced
1 T cooking oil (I actually used bacon grease, but any oil would do)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T fresh chopped chives
2 T fresh chopped parsley
3 T fresh chopped basil (plus more for garnish)
fresh ground pepper
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan (I used a vegetable peeler to get long skinny slices, but grated would be fine)



  1. Core the tomatoes and cut them into thin slices (somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch would be fine).  Place them in a strainer and sprinkle them with salt.  Allow them to drain, gently mixing or tossing them every so often.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F
  3. In a food processor, mix together the flour, cornmeal and salt until combined.  Add the butter and cheese and pulse until it forms pea sized chunks.  Add a couple of tablespoons of water and pulse.  Keep adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together and forms a ball.  You do not want to overwork the dough or add too much water, so go slow and add just a bit at a time until it comes together.  Pat dough into a 10x15x1" bar pan.  Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until firm.
  4. Once the dough is firm, gently dock the crust with a fork being careful not to create too large of holes.  Cover with parchment paper or aluminum foil and then pie weights (I use dried beans). Bake for 20 minutes then remove foil/parchment and weights and bake for 10 more minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool while you prepare the filling.  
  5. Turn oven up to 375 F
  6. While your dough is baking saute the diced onion in the cooking oil or bacon grease until translucent.  Set aside to cool.
  7. Mix cooled onion, mozzarella, mayonnaise, chives, parsley, basil and black pepper.  Spread over par-baked pie crust.
  8. Give the tomatoes one last shake and then arrange over the cheese mixture.  Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Bake at 375 F for 45-50 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and chiffonade of basil.  
  11. Great served warm, at room temperature or cold. 



Proudly shared at Meal Plan Monday

31 comments:

  1. Santa just may have looked at your Amazon wish list only to find it empty. BTW - nice recipe. I think it turned out perfectly on the stoneware.

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    1. It was really tasty, it probably even surpassed my expectations! I may have to fill up that wish list if Santa is looking!

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  2. I love the idea of the parmesan in the crust. Brilliant!

    The Old Fat Guy

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    1. The Parmesan and cornmeal really work well in the crust. Just those few Tablespoons of cheese really gives it a great flavor! Thank you!

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    2. It makes it taste like cheese straws, which I love!!

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  3. This really sounds similar to a recipe my mom makes, Tomato Galettes. She made them for us while she was visiting, and oh my gosh! I'm really going to have to put the recipe on my blog. Garden fresh tomatoes are just the best, and this looks delicious! 😍😍😍

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    1. Oooh, a galette would be a great way to make it too! yum! I hope you put the recipe up!

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  4. This looks scrumptious!!! I am just loving all the fresh tomatoes this time of year and this sounds and looks AMAZING!

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    1. Fresh tomatoes are the best, aren't they? It's hard for the store bought ones to compete. Thanks, Andrea!

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  5. Wow! Perfect timing on sharing this as I am sitting here looking at a counter full of tomatoes! And thank you for having it on instagram since I am running behind on just about everything right now! I think I need a vacation from my garden :)

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    1. It's funny how in the beginning of summer it is so exciting to have that first good harvest. By this time in the year it's like "oh boy, more tomatoes (aka more work!)" My freezer is full of tomato sauce so I figured it was time to bake a pie. Good luck on the vacation front ;-)

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  6. Pinned this! Sounds amazing!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  7. Yay! I don't have a tart pan either, so I love that adaptation. This looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us at Merry Monday this week!

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    1. Maybe we both need one on our Christmas list ;-) Though I've always been able to make due without, there have been a few times recently where I have really wanted one. Thank you!

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  8. Looks Great! Thanks for sharing at our Tips & Tricks Link Party!

    Jessica
    My Life by Jess

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  9. This sounds so perfect for an end of summer picnic! :)

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    1. It would be great for a picnic! Thank you!

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  10. Slab pies are an easy wonder...I love that this one is savory instead of sweet!

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    1. Aren't they great? And a perfect way to feed a crowd. Thank you!

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  11. Carlee, I love that you made this into a slab pie! Perfect for our block party, so I'll probably use YOUR recipe!! :) You forgot to mention last week's Sloppy Joe Casserole on a cornbread crust, lol! I don't think I realized exactly how much of a cornmeal kick I'd been on until I read your post - and cornmeal isn't usually my "thing" being a Northern girl. It is now, though, and I'm flattered you've been inspired!

    Mollie

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    1. See, you've really had a them going and I've been loving it! All of your stuff always looks so good! Thanks, Mollie!

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  12. This tomato pie looks so delicious! Thanks for linkin' up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!

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  13. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kitty! I like it so much I almost didn't share ;-)

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  14. I am really jealous, our tomatoes did not produce as much as usual, we had a weird summer of weather. I really need to amend the soil this year and feed it well. The really sad part is that the chipmunks, pests that they are, ate a lot of tomatoes too. At least they took a bite on one here and another there, and another. UG! One bite? Really? I am pinning this to make, I'm hoping for a few more nice tomatoes before the year is done, even if I have to fight the varmints for them! This looks too good to miss out on!

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    1. Our squirrels are notorious for picking that tomato that you left on the vine for one more day to make it just right. They take one dang bite and leave the rest. I wouldn't mind (quite so much, anyway) if they ate the whole thing. Luckily we still had more than enough. I used mostly romas on this, but our beefsteaks were extra good for sandwiches this year. I'd have shared if you were just a bit closer!

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  15. aw.. man, I wish I had seen this when my tomatoes were coming in this summer! Pinning so I can give this a try! Thanks for sharing at country fair blog party!

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