We all know how the taste and smell of a well-loved food can evoke memories of a sometimes distant place and time. For my friend and blog contributor Robert Starkey, Maria’s tomato pie brings to the present memories of the happiest time in his life, when he lived with his partner Rob in the magical village of Loutro on the south coast of the Greek Isle of Crete. This simple pie is the essense of summer, with well-cooked vegetables combining to build and concentrate flavor. Bob explains how he happened to obtain this until-then-secret recipe on his blog here. If you have extra zucchinis, eggplant and tomatoes from your garden, this is the recipe for you (full recipe after the jump).
MARIA’S TOMATO PIE (from the village of Loutro, Crete)
2 small eggplants
( zucchinis and eggplants should be same size)
1 green bell pepper
8 very ripe tomatoes (about 2.5 pounds)
parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste
Cut zucchinis, eggplants and peppers into very small pieces. Sauté in pan with a little olive oil. Cut tomatoes into small pieces and add to mixture in pan. Reduce heat to very low and simmer until most of the moisture is gone.
Remove from heat and cool. Add grated parmesan cheese (enough for flavor, but this is not a cheese dish). Original recipe contained Greek Mizithra cheese.
1 cup butter
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Add water as needed to make dough
Press into large springform pan making thick raised edges (or press out into a square on a cookie sheet, making thick raised edges, covering a little more than half a cookie sheet).
Pour tomato mixture into center leaving crust exposed at edge.
Bake 400º F until crust is done (brown)