true love and homegrown tomatoes--tomato feta pie

meatless monday
notes from maggie's farm

there's only two things that money can't buy
and that's true love and homegrown tomatoes.

You know, I complain too much.  Complain about the heat of this summer (already). Complain about sweating and getting up early and my back hurting.  Complain about the (lack of) restaurant offerings in this small town. Complain about dog breath, dog fur, dog, well you know.  Complain about the crazy neighbors across the way.  Complain about hard water, soft economies, the price of gas, and what I don't yet have.  

And it's days of complaining like this when the good Lord gets hold of me by both shoulders and turns me around to face the beauty of my life.  When I look at things in the light of what is real and right and good in this world, and not through the lens of what one might think things should look, that's when I'm almost overcome by my true wealth.  Real wealth.  In fact, I realize, I'm one of the richest women I know.  I am surrounded by riches beyond measure.  I am filthy rich with joy, with happiness, with deep laughter, with starry skies.  With goats and chickens and ducks and bunnies, and cats, and dogs and all the life that surrounds me.  With scads of kind and loving friends and family.  I am filthy rich with true love

And homegrown tomatoes.

Is there anything more wonderful about summer than homegrown tomatoes?

I mean I love the beach-y smells of coconut, and sun-kissed freckled noses.  Watermelon juice dripping down your elbows, and balmy evenings under the stars. Driving with the top down and county fairs. Little boy summer buzz cuts, kids squealing as they run through lawn sprinklers, and sundresses- I love all those sweet things of summer.

But I love nothing more than summer's crown jewel, the homegrown tomato. When my sweet fella was a small boy, he and his friends ran around his neighborhood during the summer with salt shakers in their back pockets, sneaking ripe tomatoes from gardens not of their own growing.  I always count the tomatoes after he brings in the harvest, checking for proof of his earlier wild ways. We celebrate the first tomato of summer, together, thick salted slices snuggled between two pieces of homemade bread, maybe a little fresh basil, and, always, Hellmanns mayonnaise, which I've taken to calling Hellions mayonnaise, in honor of his misspent youth. I often make our mayo from scratch, but this is a summer ceremony that needs no adjustment. It may yet be the best day of summer. Sharing the first homegrown tomato with my favorite guy.

In honor of that first tomato, another of our favorite ways to enjoy those homegrowners, based upon a seasonal dish once offered by one of my favorite Austin restaurants, Kerbey Lane. And for my guy, and for you, another Guy.  Favorite Texas artist, and homegrown tomato aficionado, Guy Clark.  I really think you'll enjoy him.  I include him primarily because my guy, and I, love this Guy, and if there is a reader that I can be assured will be visiting this page today, I know it's my one true love. He misses not post a-one, and cheers me on every day. He's a good guy like that.

Enjoy Guy, and
tomato and feta pie

you'll need:
one pre-baked pie crust ( homemade, or purchased, no one's judging) + about 2 lbs of ripe tomatoes + 3 scallions, thinly sliced green and white parts + 2 cloves of garlic, minced +a small bunch of fresh oregano, de-stemmed and chopped + 1/2 cup each feta cheese, mayonnaise, and greek yogurt + a handful of kalamata olives, pitted +  kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice tomatoes about 1/2" thick.  Layer in a colander, sprinkling each layer lightly with kosher salt.  Allow tomatoes time to release quite a bit of their juices, about 30 minutes.  Blot with paper toweling to remove moisture after removing from colander.  Lightly toss in a bowl with chopped oregano, minced garlic, sliced scallions, and freshly ground pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine crumbled feta, mayo and yogurt.  Set aside.

Layer tomatoes in crust.  Spread cheese mixture atop. Pop that pretty little baby in the oven, and bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes after removing from oven.  Then.........

Dig in!

See, it's really quite simple. You can even make it the day before, and serve it after bringing to room temperature. Or for lunch or dinner the same day. A certain farmer around here eats (what's left) of it cold, straight from the fridge. It serves about 6 people, with a little salad or soup to accompany it.  

When you whip up this little baby, maybe you'll be spending a little time being blissfully domestic in your kitchen, humming along to Guy Clark.  Or, as you plan the evening's dinner, you'll find yourself tapping your foot as you going through your day, task by task, at your desk.  Maybe you'll enjoy a little mellow music after a hectic drive in home bound traffic.  Whatever it is you're up to, give Guy Clark a try, one of music's finest storytellers. Think Mark Twain with a guitar. 

(I really think i should be paid for that little blurb.  Anyone got Guy Clark's number?) 


  1. You are way too kind to me. I love it!

  2. Oh my! This looks FABULOUS! Sorry for the shouty caps, but dear Lawd this is amazing! I'm all about the salt shaker and Hellmanns mayonnaise when it comes to fresh homegrown tomatoes. I'm pinning this now:)

    1. I'ma be honest with you about this. I made this during the week, when Tom was out of town, ate the entire thing myself. Had to make another when Tom returned. (and I'm that certain farmer that ate it standing at the fridge, with the door open, straight out of the pan.

      Thank YOU for dropping by with your encouragement!

  3. Um hold on, I have to go get me a dish towel as I am just about drooling on this keyboard. Dang Woman! I enjoyed that tomato you gave me the other night in a BLAT with Hellmanns (of course cause I was raised right) But then you had to go and make this. My Oh My, if this is just not making my eyes and stomach cry with joy! Pin pin pin! For the people should rejoice in tomatoes!

    1. Hahahaha...."for the people should rejoice in tomatoes!" You are so funny. I love that. And that sums up my feeling about tomatoes perfectly! Thank you for being YOU!

  4. I so enjoyed your post. I love Guy Clark. My favorite song by him is "I don't love you much, do I?" It reminds me of my late hubby and it always makes me smile...The simple things like a kiss in the hall.. Thanks for reminding me...Off to my iPod!

    1. Oh, Winnie, I just love that song! It's on that song player on the right hand column of this page. It's just perfect for good marriages like the one you shared with your sweet husband, and the one I share with mine. I'm so surprised that Guy Clark is on your IPod. And so impressed!

  5. OMG that dish looks to die for!! I have to agree, there is nothing quite like home grown tomatoes...except maybe fresh picked blueberries and strawberries!! Yummy!


    1. Oh Kathy, you are right! Freshly picked berries are another special treat of summer. Thank you so much for stopping by today.

  6. You are definitely rich! Your true love ... your gardens ... your food ... your recipes! I wanna some ...:-)

    1. I just found out that the Blogher convention is going to be in AUSTIN next year. If you come, I'll make you tomato pie!

  7. Sounds delicious. I wonder if it would work if you substituted ricotta and/or marscapone for the feta, and maybe use basil instead of oregano...


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