I have a couple of cook books (I call them recipe books) that I keep out on my entry table.  I love the ones with the beautiful layouts and pictures so I keep them close by for when I have a few minutes to sit down.  One of my favorites is a Junior League of Greater Covington book called “Roux To Do, The art of Cooking in Southeast Louisiana”.  It not only has beautiful Louisiana festival posters but most of the recipes are very inspired.  A lot of them come from area Chefs that share their most popular recipes.  I came across this recipe called Gruyere Cheese, Arthichoke and Tomato Pie.  It sounded so delicious but it had a plain pie crust which I wasn’t in the mood for.  I remembered a recent post from Roz at la bella vita who made a tomato pie with an herbed buttermilk biscuit crust.  That’s the crust I envisioned so I made her crust and filled it with big slices of tomatoes, a layer of artichokes and lots of gruyere cheese.  It reminded me of a deep dish pizza pie!


The biscuit crust includes flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dried Italian seasonings, butter and buttermilk.


In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients.


Mix the dry ingredients together, then cut in 6 tablespoons of butter with a pastry cutter until you have a crumbly mixture with the pieces of butter no larger than a pea.


Now add the buttermilk and stir to incorporate.  The dough will be sticky.


Lightly flour a surface to roll the biscuit dough in.  Using floured hands form the dough into a round disk.


Like this.


Place the dough in a zip lock bag and place in the refrigerator while you get started on the pie filling.  It is suggested to leave the dough refrigerated for 1 – 24 hours.


I found these Artisan brown tomatoes at Trader Joes and I love the color, the flavor and how pretty they are when sliced.  I’ll need 4 tomatoes, 1/2 onion, some canned artichokes, Gruyere cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


The tomatoes have a lot of juice and unless you absorb some of that juice the pie will be soggy.  The first step should be to slice the tomatoes and lay them on top of  paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt to draw the liquid out.  Because I’m salting the tomatoes now I’m not adding salt later.


Place another layer of paper towels over top and press to absorb.  After about 15 minutes replace the soaked paper towels with dry ones and let sit another 15 minutes.


Cut 1/2 sweet onion and quarter the slices.  Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a heated saucepan and saute the onions until they become soft and translucent.  When ready, set them aside to cool.


It’s time to roll out the dough.  Biscuit dough is fairly easy to roll out, just flour your surface and sprinkle a little over top.  Roll out to 12 inches to place in a 9″ deep dish pie plate.


Place the dough onto the pie plate.


Totally cover the pie plate then start pressing it down with your fingers.


You can trim any excess dough but I decided to leave it rustic.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes to pre-cook the dough.  Let the dough cool slightly before filling.


The dough is puffed up slightly and I wonder how I’m going to fill it.  I started with half of the grated Gruyere cheese.


Next I started layering the tomatoes (12 slices) from the outer to the center.  I sprinkled some of the chopped basil over top.  I only used 3 of the tomatoes and saving the last one for a top layer.


Next a layer of the quartered artichoke hearts.  I only used half of the can.


Next, pile on the onions and another layer of chopped basil.


I had one tomato left and placed those slices over the center top.


I sliced just enough fresh mozzarella to cover the pie.


I mixed the rest of the Gruyere cheese with the Parmesan cheese to top the pie.  It’s piled high but as it cooks it will begin to settle.  I placed some aluminum foil over the outer edges of the crust for the first 25 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for a total of 35 – 40 minutes.  Take the aluminum foil off the last 10 minutes of bake time.


It comes out hot and bubbly.  Let it cool so that the cheese can settle before serving.


It tastes like a deep dish pizza with lots of cheese!

Italian Tomato and Artichoke Pie

Herbed Buttermilk Biscuit Pie Crust (from Roz at la bella vita)

2 cups flour, plus additional for rolling dough
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Dried Italian Seasonings (I used Penzeys Tuscan Sunset)
6 tablespoons Butter, cut into smaller pieces
1 cup Buttermilk

Whisk together the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, Italian seasonings and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the pieces of butter are no larger than pea size.  Pour in the buttermilk and stir together until mixture is incorporated.

On a lightly floured surface, place the dough on the flour and with floured hands form the dough into a round disk.  Place in a zip lock bag and seal to place in the refrigerator 1 – 24 hours.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a circle of about 12 inches.  Carefully place the dough onto a deep dish 9 inch pie plate.  Press the dough to the plate and crimp edges.  Trim if necessary.  Bake in a 350 degree oven and par bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Tomato Artichoke Filling (adapted from Roux To Do, The Art of Cooking in Southeast Louisiana)

4 medium Tomatoes, sliced into 4 slices per tomato
1/2 can Artichoke Hearts, quartered
1/2 large Onion, sliced and quartered
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
4 ounces Gruyere Cheese, grated and divided
6 – 8 slices Fresh Mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Slice the tomatoes and lay on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt to draw out the liquid and place another layer of paper towels over top.  Let sit for 15 minutes then replace the soaked paper towels with fresh and let sit another 15 minutes.

Saute the sliced onions in a saucepan with melted butter.  Saute over medium high heat for 5 – 6 minutes or until they become soft and translucent.  Remove to a cooling bowl and set aside.

When the biscuit dough has cooled sufficiently, start filling first with half of the grated Gruyere cheese.  Add a layer of tomato slices, about 12 rotating from the bottom to the sides of the pie.  Leave 4 tomato slices for later.  Sprinkle about half of the finely chopped fresh basil.

Drain the can of artichokes and place about half onto the tomato slices.  Add the sauted onion slices and the rest of the fresh basil sprinkled over top.  Top the center with the 4 remaining tomato slices.

Arrange the fresh mozzarella slices to that they cover the pie.  Combine the remaining Gruyere cheese and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top.

Place aluminum foil around the crust edges for the first 25 minutes of bake time.  Bake pie in 350 degree oven for 35 – 40 minutes, removing the aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes of bake time.  Pie is ready when cheese has melted and bubbly.  Cheese should appear browned on top.  Salt to taste.

Let pie cool before serving.

Makes 8 servings.