Summer in the South is characterized by tomatoes. And, we love them around my house. Tomato sandwiches (white bread, mayo & sliced skinned tomatoes), tomato and cucumber salad and one of my absolute favorites, tomato pie.
I've found that people tend to be a bit passionate about where their tomatoes are grown. John's Island tomatoes tend to be our favorite, be we also grow some of our own. We plant the Better Boy variety and they make for some big red, scrumptious tomatoes.
A typical site around our house in the summer -
The delicious flavor of tomatoes is much more pronounced if you leave your tomatoes out of the fridge.
Okay, the tomato pie. I use Paula Deen's recipe as a starting point. I vary the herbs depending on what we have and what else I'm serving with the pie. I also add cream cheese to the cheese mixture whenever I have it. Try this - it's really amazing. The only other variation is that I prefer to "bake" the pie on The Big Green Egg because doing so really amps up the flavor.
A few pictures...
If you haven't ever made a tomato pie, try it. So easy, it tastes amazing, and guests are always impressed.
While the tomato pie is easy to make, it does take a bit of time. I was craving one terribly one day, but needed to make something quick. This is when the Tomato Pie Burger was born!
Here's how I made them...
Sliced a couple tomatoes, set them on doubled up paper towels and sprinkled them with salt. This helps remove some of the juice so you don't end up with a soppy mess.
While the 'maters were drying out, I mixed up "the filling".
To make the cheese mixture a little firmer, I use cream cheese and cheddar only (no mayo).
Add some basil (or whatever herb you like) and some chopped green onions.
Assemble the tomato pie toppers by adding a dollop of the filling on top of each tomato. Add more than you think - it really melts down.
Options at this point, bake these bad boys off for a few minutes in the oven at 350 or so. Or, wait until your burgers are about 2 minutes from done, add one of these to each one and they will get all melty and delicious right on the grill. These taste so amazing when you cook them on the BGE.
You don't need to add anything else to your burgers, but could add a little mayo if you feel like the bun is too dry without anything.
These are pretty amazeballs. Hope you try making them and love them too!