by Leslie Phillip | Photography by Katherine Clark

Tomatoes are one of nature’s finest foods, in my opinion. The unique flavor and the variety of dishes which can be made with them is endless. I usually make this pie at the end of the summer when tomatoes are most plentiful.



One homemade or frozen pie shell
3-4 large tomatoes, (featuring White Oak Farm Mountain Merit tomatoes) sliced, and drained in a colander for 15 minutes
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plain or grainy style
4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped thinly, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs, may use regular if that’s what you have on hand



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pie shell from freezer and rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. If using a homemade shell, roll out and place in glass pan. Spread mustard on the bottom dough of the pie pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Place sliced tomatoes in a circular pattern in the shell, trying to fill the voids with pieces of tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese. Add a second layer of tomatoes, basil, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Top with a third layer, adding the remaining basil, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. For a crispy top to your pie, add even more bread crumbs and cheese, and dot with butter.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes.



Phillip, chief egg breaker and owner of Thyme & Place Cafe in Southern Pines, can be reached at or 910-684-8758.