Monday, July 6, 2009


Folks, this is Mary Wilson, the Appalachian Tomato Pie Chef. She is one of my best friends and we have been sharing an interest in "provocative topics" for about fifteen years: Day of the Dead art, foreign film, Nina Simone, Tom Waits, Mickey Rourke, Leonard Cohen, and really bad movies. Mary lives in North Wilkesboro, the Tyson's Chicken Capital and works at the local library. We don't get to see each other much ... maybe a couple of times a year and she usually stops when she is on her way to a film festival, a blue grass concert or an art exhibit. She has been bringing me tomato pies for a long time.
This one she baked from scratch and we sat on my deck with Jack and listened to the pitter and pop of distant fireworks (4th of July!) while we ate and watched the groundhogs destroy my garden. Jack makes a valiant effort to catch them, but they are long gone before he gets to the garden. This was a wonderful july 4th. We listened to the sirens on the Cullowhee road and watched this bird convention that hung in the trees like Christmas decorations and we ate and read seed catalogues. Next time, Mary is going to use yellow tomatoes and some jazzy herbs. Thank you, Mary.


  1. Well Gar Neil I'm so glad you had a Happy 4th!
    I'd like to know more about this Tomato Pie, that is a new one on me!

  2. What about a recipe? Such cruelty to talk about it and not give a hint of a recipe!

  3. I agree - we need recipedal evidence of this pie!

  4. Okay, I'm gonna get Mary to forward the recipe. It was huge and it had tomatoes, onions, garlic and some kind of herbs. She even had "optional' recipes. Stay tuned.

  5. July 4 tomato pie:

    *two or three ripe tomatoes (large)
    *one whole red onion
    *sliced raw mushrooms (three or four)
    *two or three cloves of garlic, chopped
    *1 cup of mayo
    *cup of grated parmesan cheese
    *cup of grated mozzerella
    *one ready-made refrigerated pie crust

    Slice the tomatoes and remove seed membranes...then dry on layers of paper towels.
    Slice the red onion thin.

    In a bowl, mix mayo, garlic, and cheeses...add pepper to taste, but NO SALT...the parm is plenty salty. Set aside a bit of the parmesan.

    Place pie crust in pie pan or casserole (or iron skillet!) and sprinkle light layer of parm on the bottom. Then layer tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms until pan is full. Stir mayo & cheeses & garlic and then use your hands to form a ball. Place on top of veggies & crust and spread it as much as possible. Bake in 350 oven for approx. 40 min., or until golden brown. If possible, let it sit a few minutes to thicken.

    Subject: Re: Mon. eve
    Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 00:23:27 -0400

    I've three folks on my blog that want your recipe. Have you got one you can send me?

  6. Oh yumm! Thank you Gary and Mary!

  7. Thanks Gary and Mary for sharing your pie with us!

  8. Yum. Wish I had one to dive into right now. I'd do it, too. Lay my face in it and inhale.

  9. Well, Trixie, it was a big one. It took two days to eat it all. I love it cold. A beer would have been fantastic, but I have my diet to think about.

  10. Gary--Glad you posted the tomato pie recipe, although here in the high country, there's one problem. Getting homegrown, ripe tomatoes by July 4 is always problematic. Still, I'll be sure to try the recipe. Jim Casada

  11. Gary,
    Thanks for sharing Mary's recipe for tomato pie. I love tomato pie and just may try this recipe out when I get some tomatoes out of my garden.

  12. Well, Mary and I cheated and went down to Terry's roadside market that has those huge tomatoes from South Carolina. I won't have tomatoes for another couple of weeks.