In the kitchen with Kelley: Tomato basil pie

This summer I decided to plant a container garden. I had big expectations, but apparently I am only good at growing two things: tomatoes and basil.

And that works out perfectly for tomato basil pie. Besides a few ripe cancer-fighting tomatoes and several basil leaves, you only need a handful of other ingredients, including store bought pie crust, unless you’re adventurous enough to make your own.

Depending on how much you appreciate basil you can certainly increase, or decrease, the amount you use. But basil is one of those delicious tastes that can sneak up on you and become overpowering. Personally I can’t get enough of it.

But aside from its great flavor and pleasing scent, basil contains plant compounds with powerful antibacterial properties. In fact, you may want to crush a couple of leaves in water to wash your produce. A study in Food Microbiology has shown that washing produce in a mixture of just one percent basil oil was effective against Shigella, an infectious bacterium responsible for food borne illnesses. [1]

Other lab studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of basil in restricting the growth of numerous bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

But I’ll admit, even without such amazing benefits, I’d still be crazy about basil, especially when paired with tomatoes…

Tomato Basil Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 3 medium or 2 large ripe red tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • I pie crust
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. To prepare my pie crust so that it doesn’t get soggy, I brush the bottom and sides with egg yolk and cook it in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  2. When I take it out, I begin layering tomato slices, sprinkling basil and salt and pepper in between the layers.
  3. For the topping, mix the mayo and mozzarella cheese together and spread evenly over the top of the pie. Cover with foil and cook for 25-30 minutes at 350. Remove the foil and let cook an additional 10 minutes to slightly brown the topping and crust.

 

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002003000467

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Kelley Martin

By Kelley Martin

Kelley Martin is an award-winning journalist who has been covering the news for more than 20 years. She cooks for her family, and she shares recipes with the readers of Easy Health Options™.