Heirloom Tomato and Onion Pie

Photo from Emily Hilliard's pie blog, Nothing in the House.

When I was at Glade Road Growing on Friday picking up my farm share, JP suggested an onion pie recipe this week,  I had just seen a recipe for tomato pie thanks to my friend writer and artist Angelyn DeBord of Appalshop, who got it from WV State Folklorist Emily Hilliard, who, in turn, adapted it from that wonderful Eastern Kentucky (Corbin) native Ronni Lundy's cookbook, Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken.  So in answer to JP's request, I've added more onions to Ronni's recipe and made some other changes.

Lundy believes that tomato pie is derived from that southern restaurant favorite stewed tomatoes. Many other recipes for tomato pie include mayonnaise, but I prefer otherwise, as does Hilliard.   My pie crust adds  cornmeal and grated Parmesan cheese. I also prefer my tomatoes and onions sliced, rather than chopped, since they are so pretty.


Serves  6

3/4 cup white whole wheat  or sprouted wheat flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 T cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or you can substitute extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup yogurt + 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water or milk)

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red or white onion, sliced thin
3 cups fresh tomatoes, sliced and left to dry a bit on the counter for a half-hour
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 or five fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. To make the crust, whisk together in a medium bowl, the flour, corn meal and salt, then use your fingers to work in the butter or olive oil.  Pour buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir until well blended but still damp. Roll into a ball, cover and refrigerate, which will allow the fat to form layers that make for a flakier crust.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the Tablespoon of butter into a large skillet. Add onions and cook until softened.

3.  Drain the juice from the tomatoes and add milk to the juice. Add a bit of the liquid mixture to the cornstarch and stir to make a smooth paste.  Whisk the sugar, cornstarch paste, and spices into the remaining liquid mixture until well blended.  Pour into the skillet with the onions and turn heat to medium.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

4.  Layer the tomato slices on top of the onions and liquid mixture.

4.  Turn the pie crust dough out onto a floured board and roll into a circle the size of your skillet.  Cut into strips about an inch wide for the lattice top.  Lay the strips of dough over the top of the filling,  weaving to make a lattice, if desired.

4. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the dough is golden-brown.


Grilled Eggplant and Fennel

Photo from Gibbet Hill Farm

Sally tells me that tomorrow's farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include fennel, eggplant, sweet pepper, garlic, beets and tomatoes.  Continuing with the hot weather recipes, here's one for grilled eggplant and fennel.


Serves 4

1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 fennel bulb, stalks and fronds away and reserve for another use, with core trimmed until there is
      just enough to hold the fennel together, cut into quarters.   Slice one of the more tender stalks on a       slant and chop up a few fronds for garnish in this recipe.
2 tomatoes, cut into eights

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 dash paprika
sea salt
freshly ground pepper


1.  Prep vegetables.

2.  Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.  Add eggplant and fennel and toss until covered.

3.  Grill eggplant and fennel on medium grill 5 - 8 minutes per side.  Fennel should retain some crispness.  Eggplant should be tender.  If you don't have a grill, you can roast the veggies in the oven on a parchment paper covered baking sheet at 450 degrees F.  It will probably take 10 minutes on each side.

4.  Drizzle with some more balsamic vinegar and serve warm on separate plates, garnished with tomato wedges and a few fennel fronds. If you would like for this to be a meal, rather than a side, you can combine with 2 cups of cooked beans or or 2 cups of cooked chicken or 1/4 pound of  feta cheese and 4 tablespoons of pine nuts, walnuts or peanuts.


Heirloom Tomatoes with Arugula, Onion and Basil

Photo from Christine at Fresh Local and Best.


Sally tells me this week's share from Glade Road Growing  will include eggplant,  a sweet pepper, a red onion, tomatoes, arugula and basil.  Add some zucchini and you have the makings for ratatouille. Or, if you want, you can grill the eggplant and pepper outside and serve it with this salad.

If you like, this would be good topped with crumbled feta cheese and pitted kalamata olives.  To make it a main course, you could add 2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans (cooking directions) and 4 hard-boiled eggs quartered.

Serves 4


1-2 pounds of heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced crosswise into disks
4 cups fresh arugula, loosely packed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
8 or more fresh basil leaves,  chiffonade-cut (stacked, rolled and sliced thin into ribbons)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  In a large bowl, add the arugula and drizzle with olive oil, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.  Toss gently to coat the leaves.

2.  Plate the arugula.   Top with tomatoes and basil.  Season with pepper.


Raw Beet Slaw

Photograph from Crissy Cavanaugh's recipe collection at her blog.


When I went by Glade Road Growing last Friday to pick up my share, Sally suggested I continue the no-cook option with a beet slaw this week.  I took my inspiration from the above photograph.

Serves 4

2 raw beets, peeled and shredded
2 carrots, grated
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 green onion, root end removed and chopped
½ cup pecans
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup raw shredded coconut
1 TB orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon cumin
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.  Combine the green onions, oil, horseradish, lime juice, orange juice, cumin and pecans  together in a large bowl.

2.  Fold in the beets, carrots, apples and cilantro.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Chill for at least an hour or overnight.  

For a bonus, take a look at Freya Bellin's recipe for raw beet tartare I found at Mark Bittman's site. I think it would be really good with goat cheese on pitas!


Stuffed Fresh Tomatoes

Photo from Richmond-based food writer Tim Vidra's recipe for Aftertaste.


The tomatoes are in!  While they've been on sale at Glade Road Growing's farm stands for weeks, they've finally arrived in sufficient quantities for the vegetable share, along with basil, garlic, summer squash, onion and a pepper (plus a beets or kohlrabi, which I'm not including in this recipe, as I featured them last week.

If it were cooler, this might sound like the perfect time for ratatouille.  But, arrgh, it was in the nineties this weekend and will still be high eighties now that the heat wave is "over."  Who feels like cooking?  I don't.  Last week, in her newsletter, Sally suggested grilling or using a crock pot in the evening to keep the house cooler, but I thought, why not something raw?

If the tomatoes in your bag are the large heirloom slicers, as shown above, great.  If not, no problem.  I'm not sure how many tomatoes you'll be getting, so, if there are fewer, enjoy what you get and use any extra stuffing in pitas or tossed with cooked pasta and/or beans that have been chilled.  The original recipe called for cukes and dill (and no squash, sweet pepper, onion, garlic and basil) so I made some changes.


3-4  tomatoes, topped and cored with a paring knife
1 summer squash, stem and end cut off and diced
1/4  sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced 
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped, divided into two portions
2 teaspoons onions, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed and diced finely
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1.  Sprinkle the inside of each tomato with salt. This will pull the juices from the tomato and into the well.

2.  To make the dressing, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, whisking to combine.

3. Dice the tomato top/core and add to the prepped squash, sweet pepper, crumbled feta and half of the  basil. Pour the dressing over the diced ingredients and stir to combine.

4.  Scoop the salad into the cored tomatoes and garnish with remaining basil. 


Roasted Veggie, Chickpea and Collard Salad with Tahini Dressing

Photo accompanied Rachel Schwartzman's recipe at  Lillian Zhao's site, Further Food.

The July 19 farm share from Glade Road Growing will include potatoes, onion, kohlrabi, beets and collards.  Here's a roasted salad inspired by Rachel Scwartzman's recipe (she had sweet potatoes, beets and collards to work with.)


Serves 4


1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 bay leaves
potatoes, washed and cut into quarters or eights, depending on size
beets, washed and quartered
kohlrabi, washed and cut into eights
1 onion, washed, peeled and cut into eights
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
collard greens, washed and  coarsely chopped

1/3 cup sesame raw sesame seeds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water

1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon of orange  juice concentrate
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoon of cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon miso paste


1.  The night before, cook 1 cup dry chickpeas,  in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover with 2 cups water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and 2 bay leaves and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time two cups of water and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour.

2..  Prep  potatoes, beets, onion and kohlrabi.  Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat.  Roast in 425 degree F oven for 15 minutes. 

3.  While the vegetables are roasting, chop collards.   Remove vegetables from oven, and when cool enough, peel beets and kohlrabi, discarding peel.  Toss in chopped collards and return to oven to finish roasting, 10 minutes more.

4.  While the vegetables cook, to make dressing,  toast sesame seeds in a hot, lightly oiled cast iron skillet, until they just begin to pop.  Reserving 1 TB for garnish, combine the remaining roasted seeds with  water, garlic, orange juice, cumin and cilantro in blender and process until smooth.

 3.  Toss vegetables and chickpeas in dressing and refrigerate.  Serve chilled garnished with roasted sesame seeds and cilantro. (In the winter, you may want to serve this as a hot dish.)


As a bonus, here's Emily Horton's recipe for a raw (or lightly blanched) collard salad with potatoes and chickpeas  (photo by Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post.)


Fennel and Lemon Salad

Photo from Bistrot Cenisio 10, Milan, Italy

1 fennel bulb, sliced thin (use a mandoline, if you have one).
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped; can also chop 1/2 cups of fennel fronds, if they are included with the bulb and reserve the rest for another use.

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, and cilantro (and fennel fronds, if available) in a salad bowl until blended. Add the sliced fennel and toss until coated. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you'd like you can also include 1 cup of fresh blueberries and top some shaved goat cheese or crumbled feta.