cherry tomatoes

BHG Guest Blogger

Cherry Tomato Pie

Hi! I’m Angie McGowan from Eclectic Recipes and I’m so happy to guest posting today! I’ve been blogging since 2009 about the recipes we love to make in our family. I’ve been able to share recipes on my blog that have been passed down in our family, recipes I’ve learned from dear friends and things I’ve developed on my own along the way. The memories created around the dinner table while we enjoy good food with our friends and family are such an important part of lives. You can follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.

One of my favorite recipes from my family is a tomato pie. It’s a summer essential that uses the ripest summer tomatoes baked into a savory cheesy pie. I usually make it the same way, layered with sweet vidalia onions and lots of cheese and mayonnaise. It’s not exactly low fat, but as a once in a while treat, it’s definitely worth it. However, when I saw this version of tomato pie made with cherry tomatoes on the Better Homes and Gardens website, I knew I must make it as soon as possible!

One of the problems I’ve always had with a traditional tomato pie, is that even when you use a variety of tomatoes that are low moisture, and squeeze and strain as much moisture out of them as possible, the pie can still be a bit soggy, even though it tastes amazing. Well, this recipe solves the soggy tomato pie dilemma by placing the cheese on the bottom instead of the top. This allows the tomatoes to dry out even more and it makes a much cuter pie too!

To start this recipe, I used 2 refrigerated pie crusts that I rolled together. Doing this creates just the kind of sturdy pie crust you need for this hearty tomato pie. You then you pre-bake the pie crust to keep it crisp.

While the pie crust is baking, you crisp up some bacon and sauté some onions. Then you make the savory, cheesy filling which is a combination of cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, egg and lemon zest.

When I made this recipe, I used a combination of sweet red and yellow sweet cherry tomatoes, instead of just red tomatoes as the recipe states. This makes the pie a bit more colorful and fun. I halved the tomatoes, added fresh basil, some crisp bacon and a little salt and pepper to the tomatoes before placing them on top of the pie.

The pie takes about 35 minutes to bake, and then at least an hour to cool and set up. The waiting for the pie to cool is the worst part because it smells so amazing! The combination of sweet roasted cheesy tomatoes, basil and Parmasan is just to die for.

But it’s worth the wait. After the pie cools, garnish witih either some fresh lettuce as in the recipe, or a large sprig of fresh basil as I’ve done here. Either way, you won’t be dissapointed. Serve this pie with a simple salad (we really love Caesar salad with this pie)  and have a simple summer dinner with friends and family.

This recipe was such a huge hit with my family, everyone raved about it. I can’t wait to make it again next week. It’s definitely a recipe we’ll cherish in our family for many years to come.

For the full recipe, visit Cherry Tomato Pie.

BHG Guest Blogger

Oma Blaise Ford: Behind the Scenes with our June Recipes

Is it happy hour yet? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a tall, refreshing summer cocktail and the lovely late afternoon light on the patio that should go with it. Oma Blaise Ford here, executive editor at BHG. When I’m not wielding my editing pen at the magazine, I love to cook, have friends over, and mix up a great-tasting cocktail. So I was thrilled to accept the challenge when our food editor, Nancy Hopkins, asked me if I’d develop a collection of garden-inspired summer drinks for the June issue.

I’ve been called a cocktail geek, and that may be true, but what’s even truer is that I am a flavor freak. What I love about cocktails is what I love about cooking—creating great flavors and delicious combinations. Sometimes those yummy combos come from unexpected places, and sometimes you need a little push to try something different. Case in point: Cherry Tomato Margarita.

I love sweet little cherry tomatoes — when I have people over in the summer, a bowl of these beauties from the farmer’s market or garden is always among the nibbles I serve with drinks. But I hadn’t thought about using them in cocktails until a couple of years ago when I was having dinner at the bar at Range restaurant in San Francisco. They had a drink on the menu that had Sungold cherry tomatoes in it, and I was both intrigued and a little skeptical. The bartender gave me a taste, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

That surprise was my inspiration for the margarita in our June story. It’s got all the classic margarita elements: tart lime, tequila, and velvety orange liqueur (I like Grand Marnier in this version, but you can use your own favorite). But then underneath that classic mixture is the bright, summery sweetness of the muddled cherry tomatoes.

And here’s the main secret to tasty success: Choose the best, sweetest cherry tomatoes you can get your hands on. Tart or more vegetal tasting tomatoes will impart a hint of bitterness to the drink. I tried this with both yellow and red cherry tomatoes and found that yellow seemed to work better with the rest of the flavors. I also threw just pinch of salt into the shaker when I muddled the tomatoes to enhance the flavor — even if you don’t like salt on the rim, I recommend you include this bit of salt in the mix. But don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of lime or simple syrup to suit your own taste. I happen to like my margaritas on the tart side, but if you like them sweeter add a little more syrup.

Now, go get shaking and let us know what you think. Get the recipe here!

I’d serve the cherry tomato margarita with this cocoa-accented Smoky Braised Pork Shoulder. Or the super easy and very yummy Grilled Flank Steak with mole barbeque sauce from the June issue.

Want to know which of the cool summer sips was the staff favorite when we tasted them at the story pitch (seen above)? You can watch me make it over here.

Curious about the inspiring tomato cocktail from Range? I shared my recreation of that drink over on my friend Annette Joseph’s blog last year.

You can check out my cocktail ramblings on my personal tumblr.