What to do with tomato bounty


Not many things I bake turn out all that good.  Yesterday I experienced an exception that made by heart sing.

Someone unknown to me at this point, left a whole heap of fresh picked tomatoes on my porch last Sunday.  I’m sorry, but I’m a bit selfish when it comes to a ripe homegrown tomato.  So rather than share, I’ve been eating BLTs, stewing them up into pasta sauce and yesterday I made a recipe which appears in my book (to be released in September).


It is a special recipe from my friend Caroline Harrell Atkins with a few little tweaks from her mother-in-law,  Norma, who gave me the recipe in the first place.  I’m sharing the recipe but this in no way releases you from the responsibility of buying the book. (Hillary Clinton and I are competing to see who can sell the most books. Please note MY book “Love, Laughter, and Losing My Keys”:IS NOT a cookbook  but sometimes a good story just needs to be accompanied by something special to eat. I don’t know what Hillary’s is about but I doubt she has a single recipe inside.

This was delicious even though I had to make it in my toaster oven since my wall unit caught on fire last week and the top element burned out for the second time in less than a year.  (It’s not like I overwork the damn thing – It undercooks everything, so I must overcompensate by overcooking everything which causes everything to burn.  Did you follow that?

Caroline Harrell’s Fresh Tomato Pie

1 pie shell

3-4 large home grown tomatoes  (Norma told me to slice them and let them sit on a paper towel to drain off some of the moisture so your pie won’t be sloshy)

1 cup mayonnaise – Caroline favor Blue Plate. Me, I’m a Duke’s girl)

2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Thin slices of onion and chopped basil (this is Norma’s tweak and it was a good one)

3-4 slices bacon (I used the jarred kind but home fried would have been better)

Bake pie shell at 350 degrees until brown. Slice tomatoes and arrange in pie crust in layers.  Salt and pepper each layer to taste and sprinkle with onion and basil.. Mix mayo and cheese together and spread on tomatoes. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts – about 25-30 minutes. While pie is in oven, cook bacon in microwave until crisp. Crumble bacon and sprinkle on top of pie during the last five minutes of baking. Let pie cool 10-15 minutes before cutting (if you can stand it).

This is the first recipe that Brenda has actually asked me for.

6 thoughts on “What to do with tomato bounty

  1. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I am getting a glass top stove with convection oven. I totally relate to your stove problem. A little over a year ago I married the cutest man, adorable in every way, but the eyes on his stove would not turn on reliably. Sometimes they would if you rattled them. All four were cattywumpus. If you put an egg in the skillet, it slid to the edge. Nothing cooked evenly. The first time I cooked on it, I complained, and I complained every time thereafter. Nothing happened. Then I began to ask for a new stove for my birthday. Me, a jewelry person, asking for an appliance for a present. Finally he heard me.

    I cannot wait to bake Caroline’s tomato pie in my new convection oven!

  2. Love tomato pie! I’ve found several new recipes and will share a Tomato Tart with you. We’ve had some concoction of tomatoes every day! I’m afraid our tomato bounty is about to cease.

  3. So Helen, are you saying never marry a man with bad eyes! (Snort chortle)–that was too good to pass up. Norma, did I credit this to right person – did it come from Big Caroline or your Caroline. Need to correct it in book. And Martha, still beefless and porkless. You will notice only half of pie has bacon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *