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From the kitchen of Nathan Thurston, chef instructor at Art Institute of Charleston

Chef’s Note: Make sure the tomatoes are in season and not mealy. Check for mealiness by slicing the tomato and inspecting the interior. “If it’s juicy and smooth without many specks in the ‘meat,’ you’re good to go,” says Thurston. “If it’s a little dry and speckled throughout, cook it down for canning or making tomato paste.”
(Serves 8)


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1 9-inch pie crust, par baked for 15 minutes
2 cups mayonnaise
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 large eggs
3 cups grated white cheddar cheese    
4-5 large tomatoes, cored and cut
    into 1/4-inch slices     
Freshly cracked black pepper
Fine sea salt
1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves



Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare the pie crust. While it cools, place the mayonnaise, vinegar, and eggs in a bowl and blend thoroughly.

Start assembling the pie with a thin layer of cheese on the bottom of the crust. Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add a light layer of onion and basil and then the mayo mixture. Repeat until the filling comes within one-quarter inch of the crust. Cover the final layer with cheese.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is well-browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least an hour to prepare for slicing. Slice into wedges and place in a 400°F oven for five to seven minutes, or until warm.

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