Thickly-cut homegrown tomatoes nestled between a couple of pieces of bread and cozied-up to some salty, crisp bacon and fresh lettuce make for a favorite summer lunch or supper around here. But when Randy deposited another half-full bucket of tomatoes by my kitchen sink, I went in search of another way to use our summertime bounty.
I've made Panzanella Salad a couple of times, and we enjoy that, too. But a Garden Fresh Tomato Quiche was another delicious addition to our summer table and a way to use some of those succulent tomatoes.
I had a homemade crust in the freezer, which sped the process for a noon meal. (This is a link to my sister's Never Fail Pie Crust, which has become the go-to recipe for Jill and me. The pie crust recipe makes 3 crusts total, so I'd banked the extra in my freezer for just such an occasion.) If you prefer to use a refrigerator crust, I won't tell!
After reading through several options, I chose a Taste of Home recipe as the jumping-off point, since that recipe site rarely steers me wrong. Of course, I had to tweak a few things to make it my own.
The original recipe called for dried thyme. I prefer dill, so I substituted that spice. If you have fresh dill, basil or thyme, you could use fresh herbs instead. It always takes more fresh herbs for a recipe if you're substituting for the dried version.
Thinking of our favorite BLTs, I also sprinkled the bottom layer of cheese with some already-crisped bacon bits - real ones, of course. You could fry your own or, if you had some leftover ham in the fridge, you could add it for your meat-loving diners.
My pie shell was smaller than 10 inches. With the addition of the bacon and the smaller crust size, I couldn't squeeze all the egg/cream mixture in. I saved some of that mixture in a lidded jar and cooked it separately another day. Even though I retained some of the liquid, a little of the egg mixture floated onto the crust. But it just added a little extra "gold" around the edge of the pie. But try not to overfill the crust because you don't want a mess in your oven!
After it was golden and brown, I served the quiche with additional sliced tomatoes and vinegar-soaked cucumbers, also from Randy's prolific garden. The onions in the quiche and some fried potatoes were additional bounty from the garden.
If you try it, let me know how you like it!
Garden Fresh Tomato Quiche
Adapted from Taste of Home
1 unbaked 10-inch pie crust
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped onion
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried dill
2 cups (8 oz.) fiesta cheese, shredded (or use sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack, if you prefer)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
Bacon or ham (optional)
Par-bake your pie shell at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned. BEFORE baking, put pie weights in the bottom of the crust to prevent the crust from puffing up or sliding down the side of your pan. Cover the edges with pie shields before baking. Remove from oven.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onion in butter until tender. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and dill. Cook over medium-high heat about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. I still had a fair amount of liquid, so I did a quick drain of the tomato mixture with a colander to remove additional moisture.
Sprinkle 1 cup cheese into the bottom of the par-baked pie shell. Cover with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
In a small bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Beat in cream. Pour into pie shell.
If you haven't already covered your crust with pie shields, do so before baking. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake 40 minutes longer or until top begins to brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- After putting 1 cup of cheese in the bottom of the pie pan, I sprinkled with packaged real bacon bits. You could also add leftover ham, if those at your summertime table prefer some meat in their main dish!
- If possible, use a deep-dish pie plate and crust to get all of egg-milk mixture in the pan. Don't overfill or you'll have a mess in the oven. If you aren't able to pour in all the liquid, refrigerate the leftovers to use in a small tart or other application another day.
Need other ways to use tomatoes while they're plentiful this summer? Try these other County Line-tested options: