by Debra on May 9, 2013

We’re in that ‘between’ season which is the end-of-semester-regular-school-year and the start of summer-session teaching for The Professor; I think it may be one of my favorite weeks of the year because Spring has definitely arrived, the gardens are finally awake for another season and the morning light is bright and quite lovely. We sleep a little longer in the mornings and stay up a little longer in the evenings – a nice change of pace from the usual 5am wake-up calls which happen from September to May the rest of the year.


This time of year also means we are outside, digging in the dirt, planting our vegetable garden – which generally relies heavily on herbs, a few root vegetables and plenty of tomatoes. A few years ago, it was a race between me and a persistent groundhog as to see who could get to the tomatoes first; for the record, he won most of those races – even after I moved some of my tomato pots to our upper deck. But he was not deterred and there was many a morning I’d find piles of half-eaten tomatoes splayed over the planks, taunting me to try and catch him – which I never did. He must have moved on to better territory as he wasn’t around last year – knock on wood.


We try to eat seasonally but occasionally, I’ll see a recipe that has my mouth-watering, ala Pavlov’s dog – this Heirloom Tomato Tart from Greg Henry’s book, Savory Pies is one of those recipes. It’s about three months too early for local, seasonal heirloom tomatoes here in the Midewest but I spied some of my favorites at the grocery – baked into a buttery gluten-free crust, add a simply dressed salad of greens add and your favorite glass of crisp, white wine, voila – dinner; simply dressed greens, toast and coffee? Breakfast or brunch; with perfectly brewed iced tea and you have lunch.

If you’re into all things pie (and I am), you’ll be in pie heaven with Greg’s book; fresh spins on standard favorites like Mushroom Tarte Tatin, Bite-Size Beef Wellingtons, Corn Pudding Pies with Chilies and Chicken, Artichoke Clafouti, Chickpea Samosas with Spicy Mint Sauce and Apple-Bacon-Onion Southern-Style Fried Pies can make a girl weak in the knees. All are equally accepteable for family gatherings, dinner parties or intimate dinners for two; the ingredients are easily procured with easy-to-follow directions and many of the recipes include wine pairings.


Greg is a personal friend and one of my most favorite people in the world; he’s a force of nature in the kitchen, a gifted portrait photographer to Hollywood movie stars, witty, genuine, and at times, a self-described curmudgeon – but he still makes me laugh. And if you haven’t listened to The Table Set podcast, you’re missing out; teamed with fellow entertaining extrordinaires Andy and Nathan, these three guys know a thing or two about throwing a party.

One last note – the color of the beauty isn’t off; blending the cheese with the tomatoes gives this stunner a lovely orange-ish hue so don’t be alarmed – I promise every bite will taste like summer!

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Savory Pies free of charge; however, all reviews and opinions are strictly my own.