Martha’s Rustic Tomato and Cheese Pie
It has been years since I last visited Rehoboth Beach and the Lewes Delaware area but it will not take me as many years for a return visit. Of course, this is much due to a dear friend and former neighbor, Martha Dalton, who moved to Rehoboth last year. Beyond that, the place is just so relaxing with plenty to do, including Saturday mornings out at the well-known Lewes Historic Farmer’s Market.
Martha and her husband Frank know the area very well as it is the same home Martha spent summers as a child and then with Frank over the course of many years. Martha of course was eager to share all of the many historical tidbits of the place but then Martha possessing that special combination of warmth and class always tended to surround herself in both interesting and unique things and get involved in this calm sort of way that I have always found admirable.
Last weekend centered around the Great Tomato Recipe Contest as part of the 7th Annual Tomato Festival at the Historic Lewes Farmers Market after Martha in her update let me know that she had entered her recipe for Rustic Tomato and Cheese Pie, see what I mean, even the Title sounds interesting. I of course, could not resist but rearranging the schedule to visit on this day.
As it turned out, the Recipe Title not only sounded interesting but also took First Prize, awarded by Chefs from four top restaurants in the Rehoboth and Lewes Delaware area.
Representing the Judges circle included Martha and Frank’s favorite restaurant, The Henlopen City Oyster House in Rehoboth that Martha already has lined up for our next visit. Other Chefs also among top restaurants in the area include, The Buttery in Lowes, Kindle, also in Lewes and Dog Fish Head Micro-Brewery and Restaurant in Rehoboth. I’ve linked the restaurants in case you are planning a visit in the near future as each of these eateries come highly recommend by our Tomato Recipe Winner of the Day.
Although I’m certain she was busy in the day preparing her final submission to the judges and awaiting the news Martha still greeted me with a couple of thoughtful gifts. Naturally, given the season, one contained a small bag of peaches from the nearby Bennett Orchards where Martha and I had planned on peach picking since her initial departure from the neighborhood. I love the Tagline, check out the Truck, ‘Take a Peach to the Beach.’
Another of gifts from Martha included a bag of beautiful multicolored and sized Heirloom Tomatoes from the days Farmers Market and these are the perfect combination to prepare Martha’s recipe, Rustic Tomato and Cheese Pie, that I share with you today.
Voted the best of Delaware, The Lewes Historic Farmers Market is a community based and producer- only market currently hosting 35 vendors each Saturday morning from 9 am to 12 pm May through late September. While additionally engaging its efforts toward saving the land, supporting small farmers and producers, as well as educating the community about the food they eat, the Market offers a very friendly and warm environment that seems to permeate the atmosphere despite its large numbers of attendees.
The Lewes Historic Farmers Market depends solely on volunteers in its weekly coordination as well as ongoing featured workshops provided by Chefs from area restaurants to a diversified variety of food related experts.
Located at 110 Shipcarpenter Street the surrounding area is perfect for a stroll composing a delightful array of shops and eateries winding amidst historic homes of unique architectural character, landscapes carefully manicured among diverse trees, shrubs, plants, and overflowing flowers bursting in seasonal color.
Martha’s recipe calls for chopped garlic and thinly sliced red onion and both ingredients provide pack of punch flavor infused into the Tomatoes for the Pie.
With two small pots of oregano and thyme out front, I simply removed the bright shades of tiny green leaves off the stems and sprinkled them about each layer rather than chopping.
I used the refrigerated Pie Crust as Martha called for in the recipe except instead of a pie dish I used a greased Tart Pan.
The basil leaves so fragrant this time of years yielded large full leaves still requiring a little roll up and slice chiffonade for the topping.
The board walk promenade area began a couple of blocks off of the Lewes Farmers Market area and the corner hosted Gilligan’s restaurant lined with colorfully docked boats and a picturesque view of trolling boats casually coming and going along the canal area.
We enjoyed a lovely meal of crab cake sandwiches at Gilligan’s shaped in the size of round softballs and though anything would have tasted good amidst friends and the scenic view, once pressing down the bun top on top, getting ones mouth around the bits of oozing out messiness was fun and worthwhile in its good variation of flavor.
The weather was spectacular on our visit, one of those rare summer days with perfectly blue sky, white puffy clouds enhanced by the surroundings of sparkling water off of the bay.
I didn’t make too much variation to Martha’s recipe except using the Tart Pan and then using a little less mozzarella to fit the ingredients snugly into the pan without overflowing.
The Heirloom Tomatoes look so colorful and juicy once sliced and lined into the pan only enhanced once the other ingredients add on together in the combination.
The Rustic Tomato and Cheese Pie is fabulous tasting and a joy to prepare in its ease. Perfect for a light dinner or a nice appetizer with a glass a wine among friends. You can serve it warm or at room temperature but you will want to let it rest a bit out of the oven before cutting through the tomatoes and pie crust in order to plate an intact slice.
We took 95 and Route 1 from Philadelphia into Lewes but with only two lanes in, its slow going with the weekend traffic, despite being well worth the wait. Next time we may try the drive into Cape May, New Jersey and pick up the Cape May-Lewes Ferry which daily transports both Passengers and Cars back and forth between seaside towns. You can alternatively take your bike and enjoy the view on two wheels.
Martha has a full line up for our next visit, and just like Martha, will include lots of interesting adventures and tidbits, historical and otherwise. One thing is for sure, even if Martha and Frank aren’t in your circle of friends, visiting Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, Delaware including the Historical Lewes Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, strolling along shops, gardens, enjoying fine dining establishments and canal lined boats into the bay there is something for everyone, including finding great recipes like at the Great Tomato Recipe Contest.