Hand Pies

Roasted Tomato, Garlic, Herb & Cheese Pies

July 23, 2023
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Because I love them so, herbs dominated my vegetable garden this year—dill, oregano, lovage, lavender, parsley, French tarragon, lemon balm and lemon thyme, plus many kinds of basil, rosemary, and sage. Yes, all of those lovelies, plus a few veg essentials: including tomatoes! Waiting for the red globes to reach their peak, I first made these delicious savory hand pies with plump and pretty store-bought Campari (sometimes called “cocktail”) tomatoes, later switching to homegrown. Camparis are the perfect size for the recipe (less fleshy that big tomatoes, and less fiddley than cherries to slip the skins off of after roasting ) but the recipe works with any size of the fruit. (If you use big tomatoes, just cut them into eighths.)

Slow roasted with garlic for a good hour and a half, the tomatoes deepen to rich flavor that matches their hue. Tucked into crusts with freshly made basil pesto, two kinds of mozzarella, they are delicious (!) I used Jessica Battilana’s NYTimes calzone as my jumping off place for this recipe, learning from her that for crisp-perfect crusts, you need to bake at a raging 500 degrees. But while Battilana designed a drier filling to ensure that crispy crust, I prefer a little juicier filling, so added some cubes of fresh mozzarella to the whole milk mozzarella shreds, lots more garlic and some chili flakes for punch. And the crispy crust held!

You can use 24-ounces of store-bought pizza dough if time-pressed, but the home made crust is very good, so do try to make it if you can. To round out the meal, serve the pies hot from the oven with a fresh green salad. To round out the meal, serve the pies hot from the oven with a fresh green salad. P.S. If you are a hand pie aficionado like my husband, try our picadillo empanadas , or our sour cherry pies.

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