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Southern Tomato Pie

Tomato pie is easy to prepare, versatile and full of South Carolina flavor. Just make sure you have the basics on hand: pie crust, cheese, onion, mayonnaise, your favorite herbs and plenty of rich, red local tomatoes. Its considered a summer dish, but I have found great Florida tomatoes right now, so this is on the menu for this weekend! I love this dish because its a union of my southern and Italian roots.

You can buy a ready-made pie crust and save yourself a bit of trouble. The yum factor of your dish won't be compromised much - this is one pie where the taste rides so fully on the filling that it's hard to mess up. When it comes to your tomato pie foundation, just about anything goes. You’ll want to thinly slice your tomatoes, arrange between layers of paper towels, sprinkle with a little salt and leave them alone for a few minutes.

You will need:

1 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought

4 to 5 homegrown tomatoes, thinly sliced and drained (as instructed above)

1 medium sweet onion, thin sliced

Fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

¼ cup of Parmesan, grated

½ cup Duke's mayonnaise

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pie crust until it begins to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Lightly sauté onions in a bit of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat your pan. Layer drained tomato slices in pie crust; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil and top with lightly sautéed onions. Mix cheeses into mayonnaise. Spread evenly on top of pie. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until pie is brown and bubbly. Cool a few minutes before serving.

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