THIS WAS THE HARDEST RECIPE I’VE MADE in a long time. But I did it. And it was delicious, at least two parents and one preschooler thought so. Baby George and Estelle who is two, begged to differ. But here’s my theory: Phoebe helped me make it and when you’re a kid in the kitchen, you are a million times more likely to try a new dish than someone who’s sitting down to a plate of “what the heck is this?” come dinner time. Here’s how we did it and what we’d do differently next time…
We bought a bounty of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the Hillsborough Farmer’s Market on Saturday, which was a delight. I knew making something like a this heirloom tomato pie from the Food Network would be a risk but what I didn’t know was that it would take all day. The crust was delicious but too complicated. Involving a food processor, time to rest in the fridge, blind baking and a pound of beans, and cooling time on top of that was just too much. And that was before we even added the filling!
So, combining the best parts of this recipe–the tomatoes, fresh basil and cheese–I’d make the whole thing simpler. A layered dish that you cook all at once. That way a
stressed out busy mom like me can make something nice without wanting to scream. Plus the stakes are lower. If I don’t spend four hours slaving over a new dish that has iffy chances of success with the mini critics, I have more time with the minis doing something more fun than begging them to just try a bite.
FOODLETS RECIPE MAKEOVER:
Aimed at making recipes healthier, easier and more kid-friendly
- Use a pre-made whole-wheat pie crust (Epicurious.com says Wholly Wholesome Organic Whole Wheat crust pie shells are the best) or puff pastry like this version from Joy the Baker.
- Just make layers of stuff you/the kids like: mozzarella cheese, pesto (surprisingly our kids LOVE this stuff) and tomatoes would make a great tart.
- Add something they ALWAYS like. I like to include a ringer when I’m making something new. For this dish, I’d add a layer of green olives. All three rascals love the salty, creamy goodness and I think the punch of flavor would be perfect.
- Try miniature versions, baked individually in muffin pans = always popular.
In the end, I loved this dish and was thrilled to have leftovers for lunch the next day. Warm or cold, it’s the perfect summer meal…as long as it doesn’t take all summer to make.