Oh my, this is good! We love making tomato pie in the summer. This version is a mash-up between Southern tomato pie and Italian caprese salad with a nod to margherita pizza, and it's kind of as good as all of those wrapped up. It's a keeper!
This is perfect when tomatoes are in season because there is nothing more perfect than a summer tomato. The cool thing is that if you want to leave out the dairy to make it vegan, you may substitute a drained and sliced block of extra-firm tofu. Believe it of don't, the flavor of fresh Buffalo mozzarella and tofu are very similar. Tofu, as you may or may not know, is actually made using the same process as cheesemaking. So, it makes sense that that share many of the same textures and flavors.
Whichever way you choose to make it, it'll be wonderful! Serve this to dinner guests for an easy make-ahead meal, or enjoy it for dinner soon and keep the leftovers all to yourself.
Gluten-Free Caprese Pie
1 store-bought gluten-free, frozen pie crust
3 large tomatoes (Beefsteak, Jet Star, or Better Boy)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (more for garnish)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups basil leaves
12 ounces fresh Buffalo Mozzarella cheese (sliced into 1/4-inch rounds)
Cracked black pepper (to garnish)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake the pie crust until golden brown. This should take about 12 to 15 minutes, but please refer to the package instructions for guidance. While the crust is baking, prepare the tomatoes and dressing.
Core the tomatoes and slice into generous 1/4-inch slices. (You should get 4 to 6 slices per tomato. Layer tomato slices and salt into a large bowl making sure to get a little salt on each slice. Allow salted tomatoes to rest for 20 minutes. You'll notice quite a bit of liquid collected at the bottom of the bowl. Remove tomato slices and place them between two clean kitchen towels until ready to assemble the dish. This process ensures that the pair won't be watery. Discard the tomato water in the bowl.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the balsamic and cook until reduced by half. It will become thick and syrupy when ready. Remove from heat and add the olive oil.
Assemble the pie in the shell by shingling in a tomato slice, basil leaf, and then mozzarella in a circular pattern. Once you get all the way around the pie start another layer on top of that. Using you hands lightly press the tomatoes, basil, and cheese down into the crust. This will make it more compact and easier to cut. Drizzle the top of the pie with the reduced balsamic and olive oil dressing. Serves 4 to 6.