What to do with an excess of cherry tomatoes? But pie, of course! Delicious and flavourful reclaimed cracker crust with the sweet tang of tomatoes atop a creamy beany filling with the suprise of baby corn and zucchini nestled inside. Oh man, comfort food is just divine, especially on a sunny but chilly winter’s day.
The weekend has flown by! It’s hardly begun and then it’s over, with all sorts of madness and what not in between. I don’t mind though, not with this weekend. On Friday my darling foster kitten Gina (Noir) was taken home, and that was just such a relief and moment of joy. On Saturday we had a girl’s day out with some of the lady friends and had a course of sorts with a professional make-up artist who had us sat around a table, each with our own mirror and goodies, and walked us through the mysterious world of war paint for women. Being raised by a man I can emphatically say this was a real eye opener, and besides that it was so wonderful to hang out with my favourite lasses, nibble on bites, and have good cheer all round. Lize (the organizer for this event) was even awesome enough to make vegan cupcakes…and they were delicious! 😀 It’s rare for me to get social and step outside the homestead willingly, but these ladies make me feel at ease and really positive, so well worth it!
Yesterday evening at the shelter we also got to witness a c-section on a very miserable dog (so cool!), and I also saw my precious Pabla, who was moved to the teenage cat cage because she was meowing and making a racket, being all alone in the kitten cage. ❤ She’s adorable so I hope she snares someone’s eye. I have such a soft spot for black cats – they have distinctive meows and beautiful faces…gah! If I could adopt she would totally be nuzzled on my lap right now!
Finally, today we ambled over to my dad and co and we got to play with my super adorable siblings. My brother’s definitely getting a better foothold on language and is trying his best with sentence construction, whilst my sister is a real rascal. After all that excitement, however, I was absolutely ready to crawl back into our cave, do boring things like laundry, and pull together this really comfort-style cherry tomato pie. Even in summer as a cold dish it would still be uber tasty, so I’m considering making it for future events and gatherings. Yum yum!
Ingredients (serves 4 heartily or approx 6 as a side-dish):
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
- sprinkle pink salt
- 1 cup white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cauliflower florets, steamed
- 1 TBSP mustard
- 1 TBSP cider vinegar
- 3 baby marrows, sliced thinly lengthwise
- 6 baby corn, steamed 2 minutes, sliced lengthwise
- Mixed herbs, paprika, white pepper, fennel, nutmeg
- 240g peeled, sliced and steamed parsnips
- 2 TBSP diced peppadews
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup packed zucchini
- 1 TBSP oil
- spices – I used garlic, ginger, rosemary,
- Chop your cherry tomatoes in half and add the red wine vinegar and salt. Mix it up and set aside to soak.
- Meanwhile, steam all your veggies and separately.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and prepare a baking tray.
- In the food processor, process the pumpkin seeds til they’re broken down to a chunky flour consistency.
- Add the zucchini, oil and spices and blend til mixed.
- Place onto your baking paper/silplat and roll it out thinly.
- Place it in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until a golden sheen appears. Tip out onto a cooling rack or large plate and set aside.
- Taking the same baking sheet/silplat, place your cut cherry tomatoes cut-side down and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blend your beans, cauliflower, mustard, cider vinegar and herbs and spices. Add more spices if required. Make sure your filling is smoothish.
- Place your filling in a container and set aside. Your crackers should be cool by now, so crumble then up and place 1 cup of the crumble in your processor with the steamed parsnips and peppadews until mixed.
- Take out your baking dish of choice and spray it – I used an oval 15 x 22cm dish, but an 8×8″ dish should work fine. Press in your crust and use the back of a spoon to ensure it’s smooth and evenly distributed, adding crust up the edges as well. I made mine quite thick because of the type of dish I was using, but it’s up to you/the size you use.
- Spoon in half your filling, then layer down your zucchini strips and then your cut baby corn, cut-side down.
- Sprinkle lots of paprika, then spoon and smooth out the rest of your filling. Splash lots more paprika.’
- By now your tomatoes should just be done so take them out the oven and put in your dish for 15 minutes.
- Remove the dish and place your tomatoes face-down packed tightly on top of the filling and sprinkle over more of the leftover crust crumbles to fill in the gaps.
- Bake for another 15 minutes.
- Turn the oven onto its grill setting and bring the dish up to the top of the oven and grill for 5 minutes.
- Remove and cool a bit before serving.
I must say, I don’t consider myself a savoury cook, but this was really one dish where I stepped back and admired the end product with glee, because I’m a sucker for crusts but am rather chicken to make them. This crust is lovely and fragrant, tasty and super easy, that you can use it pretty much for anything – by omitting the savoury spices and adding some nutmeg and cinnamon, for example, it could just as easily house a chocolate mousse (or am I being weird now?).
I must say the peppadews are really what give the crust its unique aftertaste, and next time I might even add some into the tomato layer for extra ka-pow, but the combination of flavours and textures was just perfect for my palate. Plus, I suspect this will make a pretty nifty lunch for the week ahead – I’m working full day and it’s not going to be pretty! My good humour can only stretch so far if I’m cooped up and surrounded by people with nowhere to hide, but luckily there may be some opportunities to have lunch with the lasses, and that will be a welcome respite.
Just look at that crust! Oh yeah! *bounce* If one wants to carry that further into the pie it would be a wonderful addition to make an impromptu pesto with the leftover crumbs (I was left with about 1/4-1/3 cup) and layer that in the middle alongside the zucchini and baby corn. I didn’t want to sacrifice my precious spinach and didn’t have basil, but some basil pesto with cracker crumble would just be sensational!
Anyway, good luck all the ducks for the week ahead! 🙂
What is your favourite pie crust recipe?