Tomato Pie with Cottage Cheese
With all of the beautiful tomatoes in my garden right now, you can bet that I've been cooking up a lot of tomato recipes. Tomato pie is one of my all-time favorite summer tomato recipes - but most of them have so much mayonnaise and cheese in them that, while delicious, definitely have their fair share of fat and calories. I wanted to try to make a somewhat healthier version of this favorite Southern dish, and replaced the mayonnaise with cottage cheese to make a higher protein, lower fat version. It had all of the flavor, and I definitely didn't miss the mayo! This pie is based on Vivian Howard's recipe from her cookbook, Deep Run Roots (which I have read cover to cover and absolutely love). Her recipe adds roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions into the pie filling, which give this tomato pie so much depth of flavor. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try, especially if you are accustomed to the "traditional" tomato pie recipes of the South!
1 refrigerated pie crust 1 tablespoon butter 1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, sliced 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided 3 ½ pounds tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick and divided in half 1 teaspoon fresh thyme 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon black pepper ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn ½ cup cottage cheese (I used Muuna 4%) ⅓ cup grated Gruyere cheese ⅓ cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch glass pie pan. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely; lower oven heat to 375°F.
2. While pie crust is baking, separate tomato slices into two equal portions. Sprinkle one half of tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and set in colander to drain for at least 30 minutes.
3. Toss the remaining tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt, thyme, and olive oil. Spread them out in a single layer on a sheet tray and roast at 375°F for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have dried out. If there is still remaining moisture at 30 minutes, continue to roast until tomato liquid has evaporated completely and tomatoes are slightly browned.
4. While the tomatoes are roasting, melt butter in a medium pan. Add onions, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook onions over medium-low heat until they are caramelized and golden, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then stir in torn basil leaves.
5. Once tomatoes are done roasting and onions are caramelized, the pie is ready for assembly. In baked pie crust, layer raw tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, and caramelized onions, ensuring even distribution, until pie crust is completely filled.
6. In a small bowl, stir together cottage cheese, Gruyere cheese, and Cheddar Jack cheese. Spread the cheese mixture evenly on top of filled pie. Sprinkle grated Parmesan over cheese mixture.
7. Bake pie at 375°F for 30 minutes. If the edges start to brown or become too dark, cover pie crust edges with foil for remainder of cook time. Serve warm or at room temperature.