Tomato tarts are a different kind of ‘pie’

These Tomato Basil Tarts can be made in individual shells or in a regular pie crust for a delicious side dish.

These Tomato Basil Tarts can be made in individual shells or in a regular pie crust for a delicious side dish.

Perhaps “tomato” and “pie” don’t sound like they should go together very well. I will admit to being skeptical when my friend -- and boss -- Brenda Pilson brought this treats to work one day.

I was wrong! We all loved them. I intended to save the recipe for when tomatoes “came in” fresh in the garden, but decided to go ahead and publish the recipe to give us hope for a tasty spring and summer.

These little pies or tarts can be served as an appetizer or side dish. I have prepared them twice with wonderful reviews both times. Brenda did “tweak” the recipe a little. The original recipe called for large tomatoes. She opted to use the smaller, Roma tomatoes. When sliced, they fit perfectly in the small tart shells.

In addition, Brenda suggests substituting turkey bacon for regular bacon for a healthier tart, but that is up to your personal preference. You can also substitute thyme and parsley for the basil and chives. You can also substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil for the fresh and 2 tablespoons chopped onion for the fresh chives.

Tomato Basil Tarts

4 to 5 Roma Tomatoes, sliced

salt and pepper (dash of each)

2-3 Tablespoons fresh basil

2-3 Tablespoons fresh chives

5 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 (9-inch) baked pie shell or 6 to 8 baked tart shells

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese

Layer tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, chives and bacon in baked tarts shells or pie shell. Mix mayonnaise and cheese and spread over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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