I have a confession: I love tomatoes and I eat them almost every day. When I saw the recipe for Tomato Pie with Garlic Bread Crust, I knew I was in for a treat. Well, this isn’t your typical Southern tomato pie. Chef Carla Hall shares an easier, lighter version that boasts flavor and crunch in her latest cookbook, “Carla Hall’s Soul Food.”

I followed the recipe to the letter, except I used five garlic cloves instead of three. The outcome resembled the image in the book. The tomatoes rendered the right amount of juice that didn’t make the bread soggy. The herb gave it freshness and an earthy taste. I’m substituting my traditional garlic bread for this. Yes, it was that good; see the first sentence.

 TOMATO PIE WITH GARLIC BREAD CRUST
Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
½ loaf country bread
5 ripe medium tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Brush a 9-inch square metal cake pan with oil.
  2. Cut four 1-inch-thick slices from the loaf. Arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of the pan. They should cover the bottom, if they don’t, cut more slices to fit. Brush the bread all over with oil. Bake until the bread is golden brown and well toasted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, core the tomatoes. Trim the very tops and bottoms, then peel the tomatoes. Cut each in half through its equator. Mix the garlic and oil in a large bowl.
  4. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the bread. Gently smash them into the bread, then brush with garlic oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme leaves and ½ teaspoon salt. Tear the remaining bread into 1-inch chunks and toss in the garlic oil until evenly coated. Scatter the torn bread and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme leaves over the tomatoes.
  5. Bake until the top is golden brown and crisp and the tomatoes are juicy, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into squares and serve.

 

Recipe recreated by Rekaya Gibson from “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration.” Check out her Book Grub review to learn more about the book.

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