Farmers Market Finds & A Goat Cheese, Bacon, Onion & Tomato Pie

This past Saturday, if you haven’t already figured out, I went to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s Markets are obviously an addiction for me. I could be a Farmer’s Market Hoarder. Because I want everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. I’ve bought cutting boards, bowls, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, BBQ…pretty much anything I’m in the mood for at the time! Last post, it was strawberries. Before that it was honey. And this week, I just couldn’t make up my mind! Clearly….

Pepper Place Farmer's Market, Birmingham, AL

Farmers Market Goodies

But one thing that was very clear to me was that I wanted some tomatoes. And what a week to want them. They were just gorgeous! Heirlooms, Clusters, Beefsteaks, Cherry, Green…they were everywhere! Swoon!

Combination of Beefsteak & Cluster Tomatoes

Farmer’s Market Tomatoes, Basil & Onion

Now I just had to figure out what to make! I always make BLT’s. I mean who doesn’t?!?! But I wanted more! So the longer I walked around “sampling” the market with my The Home T Tote Bag (Seriously go check them out), it dawned on me. Tomato Pie. With Bacon. And Caramelized Onions. And GOAT CHEESE. Ahhh…this was going to be good. And it seriously was.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Just look at that Tomato Pie Goodness!

This is really an easy dish to make. And one that is so versatile you can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Take it to a picnic, serve it at a party or a reunion! It’s really just good anytime!

First thing to get started. Slice your tomatoes about 1/4″ thick into a colander. I used a combination of Beefsteak & Cluster. You use whatever kind is in season and looks the best from your market. Lightly salt & pepper them and let drain of any excess juice and seeds for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want the pie to be soggy, and this will help.

Sliced tomatoes drained in a colander

Let these sit for at least 30 minutes!

While you are letting those tomatoes sit, prepare your other ingredients. Slice your onions, chiffonade your basil, prepare your pie crust & chop your bacon. If you have forgotten…click here for the easiest way to prepare bacon and always have some ready to go! For the pie crust, I wanted to keep it simple this time. So I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust. All you have to do is place it in your pie plate and then pre-bake it for 10 minutes. Simple as that. If you want a homemade pie crust…you can click here for my homemade version from my Aunt Inez. Either way will work just fine.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

While your pie crust is baking and cooling, you need to caramelize your onions. Drizzle your olive oil in a sauté pan. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and sauté for about 25-30 minutes. Don’t stir these too often. Just enough so that they aren’t sticking to the pan. You want them to be a rich, warm & brown in color.

Once the onions are done and the pie crust cooled, it’s time to start layering the ingredients for the pie! Start with your tomatoes. You want these in a single layer barely overlapping each other. Next, add your onions and bacon. About half of each. Then spread out your basil, pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella. About a 1/3 for each layer.

Goat Cheese Tomato Pie Layering

The First Layer of the Goat Cheese Tomato Pie

Continue with the next layer and then finish with a layer of tomatoes. Here is where you will add the rest of the cheese & basil. I also added a little bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese, but that is up to you!

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until your crust is golden brown, pie is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned! Let the pie rest and cool on a wire rack or trivet for at least 30 minutes – up to an hour. Then serve! Serve it with a salad, drizzle some balsamic on top, or just eat it by itself! Which is what I did. All. By. Itself.

Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

We need Smell-o-Vision AND Taste-o-Vision for this!

This is definitely my new favorite way to make a Tomato Pie! And my inspiration came straight from the Farmer’s Market! If you haven’t been to your local market…go this week! It’s well worth your time. You’ll be supporting your local farmers…and who knows what other inspiration you may find!!

Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 🙂

Fresh Tomato Pie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onions

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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4-6 Fresh Tomatoes (Heirloom, Beefsteak, Cluster) Sliced 1/4″ Thick
Refrigerator Pie Crust (Or Homemade…Click here for recipe)
1 Medium Onion Sliced Thin
3/4 lb Thick Cut Bacon, Cooked & Chopped (Around 6-7 Slices)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Handful of Fresh Basil, Sliced in a Chiffonade. About 2-3 tbsp.
4 oz Herbed Goat Cheese
1 c Shredded Mozzarella (I used a little less)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Fresh Grated Parmesan for Dusting

1. Slice Tomatoes about 1/4″ thick and place in a colander. Salt & Pepper and let stand for at least 30 minutes to drain seeds and extra juice.
2. Slice onion into thin slices to caramelize. Set aside.
3. Chiffonade fresh basil & set aside.
4. Place refrigerated pie crust in a pie plate. Bake according to instructions. Then set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While tomatoes are draining & crust is baking/cooling, caramelize the onions.
6. Drizzle olive oil into a sauté pan and begin caramelizing onions until brown on medium heat. Stirring occasionally. About 25 minutes. Set Aside.
7. Begin layering tomatoes in the pie crust in a single layer overlapping a little.
8. Add bacon & onions on top of tomatoes. Then top with basil chiffonades.
9. Add pinches of goat cheese and mozzarella on top of basil, bacon and onions. About 1/3 of each.
10. Repeat layers until tomatoes are the last layer. Then top with remaining cheese and basil. Dust the top of the pie with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
11. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until cheese is browning & pie is bubbly.
12. Let cool for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving.

I Can’t Grill–But Here’s a Fabulous Roasted (or Grilled) Potato Salad!

It is finally May here in the South. And May usually means sunny days, warmer temps (humidity), flowers blooming…and barbecue’s! The smell of food cooking on a grill makes me SO happy. Charcoal Grills, Gas Grills, Big Green Eggs, Big Blue Eggs, Polka Dot Eggs…doesn’t matter to me what kind it is…as long as it’s grilled!!!

And now I have a confession to make. I can’t grill. Well…I can. Sometimes. Maybe. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.

To explain…I can grill vegetables and beef VERY, very well. And other things…let’s just put in the category of “needs work”. The recipes are always super delicious, though! It’s just that the EXECUTION needs some fine tuning. I have a terrible tendency to get distracted & then turn around to a massive flame of fire that gives new meaning to “char” grilled pork chops. And so luckily for you…this isn’t a post about grilled pork chops! But rather a roasted (or grilled) potato salad! One that I can honestly say I have perfected on the grill…AND in the oven. Because it’s just that good. But being able to grill this in the summer…yummmmmmm!!!!! I first found a similar recipe from Jeri Ryan in an issue of Food & Wine several years ago. And I’ve just made it my own over time with a ridiculous amount of compliments.

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Now…just an FYI…I’ve made the post pics about roasting the potato salad since not everyone has a grill. But if you do…then grill it. It’s by far the best way to make this! I’ll explain those few MINOR differences in the recipe card. So here are the ingredients to start….

Grilled Potato Salad Ingredients

Grilled Potato Salad Ingredients

Oven Roasted:

First thing you will need to do is preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You’ll want to make sure to wash your potatoes really well and the slice them into bite size pieces. Keep them as close to the same size as possible so that they cook evenly. Next slice the onion into pieces, keeping these evenly sliced as well. Spread both on an aluminum foil wrapped sheet pan & mix with the oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Set Aside.

Roasted Potatoes & Onions

Roasted Potatoes & Onions

If you haven’t seen my post on how I cook bacon…then click HERE to see. Because this is your next step.I used Wright’s Applewood Smoked for this one. Once you have both of your sheet trays full of the bacon & potatoes…then put them in the oven to bake.

Roasted Potatoes & Oven Cooked Bacon

Roasted Potatoes & Bacon

The bacon will be done first. I always put it on the top rack. Bake about 20 minutes so it will be a little crispy for texture. Drain well on paper towels, then chop into pieces. The potatoes should bake for about 30-35 minutes or until tender. You can broil the potatoes for the last 5 minutes to add a little “crispiness” to them if you want.

Roasted Potatoes, Onions & Bacon

Roasted Potatoes, Onions & Bacon

Blot the potatoes & onions with a paper towel just in case there is an excess oil you want to take off. In a bowl, toss together with the bacon and more salt & pepper to taste (if needed). Mix your sour cream, lemon, Duke’s mayo & blue cheese in a separate bowl so you can spoon in as little or as much as you need (I don’t like mine TOO saucy). Then fold into the potato mixture. Make sure to stir gently while the potatoes & onions are warm so they soak in all of that yummy flavor!

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Char Grilled or Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

Top it with some sliced green onions, a little fresh grated parmesan cheese or parsley and serve warm or room temperature!

Make sure to leave me a comment below on what you think! Share with your friends on FB & Twitter, sign up for more updates via email at the bottom of the blog…and most importantly…ENJOY!!!

Roasted Potato & Onion Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Jeri Ryan, Food & Wine July 2006

3-4 lbs Baking Potatoes Chopped into Quarters
1-2 Large Red Onions, Chopped into Quarters
1 pkg Thick Cut Bacon (Preferably Wright’s Applewood Smoked)
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 c. Low-fat Sour Cream
1/2 c. Low-fat Duke’s Mayo
3-4 oz Low-fat Blue Cheese
Juice of Half a Lemon
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice potatoes into pieces about 1/4″ thick. Keeping pieces as close to the same size as possible.
3. Slice red onion into pieces about 1/4″ wide. Keeping pieces as close to the same size as possible.
4. Spread potatoes & onion onto an aluminum foil lined sheet tray. Toss, just to coat, with the oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
5. Layer bacon on an aluminum foil lined sheet tray to roast at the same time as the potato mixture.
6. Place both in the oven. Bacon should roast for about 20 minutes or until crispy for texture. Drain well on paper towels then tear or chop into pieces.
7. Potatoes should cook for about 30-35 minutes until tender. Broil for the last 5 minutes if you want to add extra crispiness to the potatoes. Blot to remove any excess oil.
8. In a bowl, toss together the bacon, potatoes & onions.
9. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, sour cream, lemon & blue cheese.
10. Fold in blue cheese sauce into the warm potato mixture. Use as little or as much as you like, not to over sauce the potatoes. Add in any salt or pepper to taste if needed.
11. Top with fresh parm, green onions or parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Potato & Onion Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Jeri Ryan, Food & Wine July 2006

3-4 lbs Baking Potatoes Chopped into Quarters
1-2 Large Red Onions, Chopped into Quarters
1 pkg Thick Cut Bacon (Preferably Wright’s Applewood Smoked)
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 c. Low-fat Sour Cream
1/2 c. Low-fat Duke’s Mayo
3-4 oz Low-fat Blue Cheese
Juice of Half a Lemon
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat grill to med-high heat.
2. Slice potatoes into pieces about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick.
3. Bring potatoes to a boil in a salted pot of water. Once boiling, cook for about 5 minutes until starting to become tender. Then drain.
4. Slice Red Onion into pieces about 1/2″ wide.
5. Layer bacon on an aluminum foil lined sheet tray to roast.
6. Bacon should roast for about 20 minutes or until crispy for texture while the potatoes are cooking. Drain well on paper towels then tear or chop into pieces.
7. Toss, just to coat, the potatoes & onions together with the oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Grill either directly on the grates or using a grill pan. Just make sure you are able to get the “char” & smoke flavor on both the potatoes & onions.
8. Grill until potatoes & onions are charred & tender (5-7 minutes).
9. In a large bowl, toss together the bacon, potatoes & onions.
10. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, sour cream, lemon & blue cheese.
11. Fold in blue cheese sauce into the warm potato mixture. Use as little or as much as you like, not to over sauce the potatoes. Add any salt or pepper to taste if needed.
12. Top with fresh parm, green onions or parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Oven Roasted, Flavored Bacon! My Mouth is Already Watering….

I. Love. Bacon.

Let me say that again. I. Love. Bacon.

I mean who DOESN’T?!?! Well…those crazy kids that don’t eat meat dislike bacon. And I just feel sorry for them. Because bacon just makes EVERYTHING better! And there are so many different ways to use bacon! Chocolate-covered, maple-glazed, pepper-crusted, in a drink, crumbled, sliced, candied…the list just keeps going! I’ve even had a bacon topped ice cream sundae. And it made that plain ‘ole ice cream…BETTER!

But there is only ONE way that I actually prefer to COOK bacon. And that is in the oven. Yep. In the oven. I used this trick many, many years ago at the beach and it has just stuck with me since! Very little clean up, less bacon smell in the house (that’s an oxymoron, I know), little effort & almost fool-proof!

Crispy Oven Roasted Bacon

Oven Roasted, Mouth-Watering Bacon

The only things you need are a package of your favorite thick cut bacon (my personal fav is Wright Brand Hickory Smoked), aluminum foil & a large baking sheet. Very simple.

Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking sheet with several layers of the foil. Then layer your bacon. You don’t want your bacon overlapping too much, so if you need an extra baking sheet then use it.

Layered Thick Cut Oven Roasted Bacon

That was really, really complicated. 🙂

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how crispy you want your bacon (remember that it will keep cooking for another minute or so after it comes out of the oven). Drain on paper towels. Serve.

That’s all you say???!!! Yes…That. Is. All.

In this particular bacon extravaganza…I added some coarse pepper to a few of the slices, brushed some organic maple syrup on some, sprinkled a little brown sugar on a couple & left the rest alone. Clearly I couldn’t decide which flavor I wanted my bacon to be that day. And this also shows you how easy it is to mix it up without having to buy several different packages!

Crispy Oven Roasted Bacon

Mouth-Watering, Oven Roasted Bacon

**One last bacon cooking tipif you just HAPPEN to have any of that deliciousness leftover…just place it in a zip lock bag and freeze it! Then you can use the pieces as needed. Just place them on some paper towels and microwave for about 20-30 seconds! Simple way not to waste any **cough, cough**, leftovers. And really, really easy for the kids!

Let me know the different ways you decide to cook your bacon! Enjoy!

Crispy Oven Cooked Bacon

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Simple Southern Living

1 pkg Thick Cut Bacon
Large Baking Sheet
Aluminum Foil

1. Pre Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wrap your baking sheet several times with the aluminum foil so that the grease is easy to clean up later.
3. Place your bacon strips on the lined baking sheet, careful not to overlap too much.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until desired crispiness.
5. Drain on paper towels then serve.

**You can add brown sugar, maple syrup, coarse pepper or other flavors to the bacon slices before it goes in the oven. Just make sure to use a plain, hickory smoked bacon so the flavors don’t overlap. Cooking times remain the same.