Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Perfect Summer Lunch

Everyone searches for the perfect summer lunch for afternoon guests, for me it is my friend Susan Mason’s tomato pie. A summer lunch needs to be light and fresh, and Susan’s tomato pie paired with a green salad is a simple and satisfying lunch even when temperatures rise. Below is Susan’s recipe, as well as one for balsamic vinaigrette. Be sure to check out her book Susan Mason’s Silver Service, which includes the tomato pie recipe and many delicious others, as well as event and catering tips.

Susan Mason’s Tomato Pie
Serves 6 to 8

9-inch pie shell, baked
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spread the pie shell with Dijon mustard. Layer the sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cheddar cheese in the pie shell, ending with the cheese.
Mix together the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Spread on top of the pie. Bake for about 20 minutes until bubbly. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper until mixed. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth.

Enjoy and feel free to leave your own summer lunch suggestions!