There’s nothing like perfectly ripe in-season tomatoes, and one of my favorite ways to serve them is in the classic Southern tomato pie.
The savory pie is a simple layering of the ripest sliced tomatoes you can get with a combination of shredded cheese and mayonnaise. Sometimes bacon, onion, scallions or chopped basil are added to the mayonnaise mixture.
This week, I’m taking the filling for the pie and turning it into a quick and easy hot spread that is perfect to serve during your Labor Day festivities.
The dip has the same ingredients as the pie, but without the crust. The tomatoes are chopped instead of sliced, and everything is mixed together instead of being layered.
The dip bakes up in about 25 minutes, but if time is really short, you can pop it into the microwave and heat until is hot throughout and bubbly.
I like to serve with buttery crackers, but bagel chips or pita chips are also great for dipping into this seasonal appetizer.
TOMATO PIE DIP
2 cups shredded regular or reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup regular or reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 cup chopped ripe tomato, about 1 large tomato
½ cup real bacon bits or 4 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, optional
½ teaspoon hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crackers, bagel or pita chips, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spread in a 1-quart baking dish or pie plate and bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly. Serve with the crackers or chips.