Two things peak like clockwork every August on our Wisconsin farm: Both the tomato harvest and the flow of guests at our B&B, Inn Serendipity, hit their peak. A time of rich abundance sprinkled with managed chaos, everything dances wildly amidst summer seasonal flow.
Which means I’ll gladly embrace any way I can simplify life right now, particularly when it comes to serving that morning meal daily to our B&B guests. Here’s a serving of our favorite tips and ideas for hosting a summer breakfast of your own, showcasing the abundant local, fresh flavors of the season and featuring our house recipe favorite: Fresh Tomato Breakfast Pie.
1. Prep the Night Before
This Fresh Tomato Breakfast Pie recipe serves up a great example of my ideal B&B recipe: Looks and tastes much more complex than it is. My morning B&B routine is a whole lot simpler if I can prep and organize my dishes the night before and just cook them fresh before serving. This recipe works well for that: Make and bake the crusts the night before. Chop and prep the tomatoes and other ingredients, then just assemble the pie in the morning and bake.
2. Feature Half (Or More) Fresh Ingredients
During this time of the season, at least half the ingredients in any of my B&B recipes feature fresh garden produce. Save the cooked tomato sauce and dried basil for winter months; this is the time to eat fresh. The bulk of the ingredients in this Fresh Tomato Breakfast Pie suffice that need with two cups of fresh tomatoes. I primarily use Roma tomatoes as these tend to be firmer with less liquid, but any tomato will work.
By chopping the tomatoes the night before and letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight, some of the liquid will drain out. Pour out this liquid before setting the tomatoes in the crust.
3. Showcase Other Local Fare
What other ingredients from your area compliment the garden fresh flavors in your menu? For our Wisconsin B&B, that compliment naturally is cheese. While this recipe is written for Swiss and cheddar cheese, you can readily experiment with other flavorful melting cheeses made in your area.
4. Invite Good Karma
Remember the key ingredient around the table isn’t actually the food; it’s the company you share it with. Running a B&B, I admit I am perpetually spoiled when it comes to good company karma, as B&B guests bring a relaxed, vacation-mode happy spirit with them. As a green B&B, our guests tend to be savvy on and engaged in sustainability issues, so discussion is typically engaging and provocative, adding a healthy jolt to the experience aside from the coffee. Who are people you can invite around your table who will add positive, inspiring energy to your meal?
5. Provide Guests Take-Home Booty
With tomatoes in abundance for those of us with gardens, this is the season for sharing. Send home a sample pack along with this recipe with your guests and share the seasonal breakfast experience all over again.
Fresh Tomato Breakfast Pie
¾ c. flour
½ c. cornmeal
½ t. salt
1/3 c. butter
6 – 7 T. cold water
2 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
1 t. salt
2 T. fresh basil
½ c. chopped chives
½ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
½ c. Swiss cheese, shredded
2 T. flour
1 c. evaporated milk
* Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
* Cut in butter until crumbly. Add water, stirring lightly until dough forms a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
* Roll out dough on a floured surface and Transfer to a 9-inch, greased pie pan. Flute edges. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
* Place tomatoes in the crust. Sprinkle with salt, basil, chives and cheeses.
* Whisk flour, milk, and eggs until smooth. Pour over filling.
* Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
* Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Photo Credit: Lisa Kivirist