Fresh, local red ripe tomatoes are on the way, and we understand if you start with a tomato/mayo sandwich, or a BLT, or even just a salted slice or two. But after you get your fill of that, try this. It’ll stay with you for a long time.

I’ve been writing my food column for 15 years. That’s, more or less, 800 recipes, give or take a big week or vacation. I have to admit I can’t access most of them from this aging memory.

This one, however, bobs around on the surface of my consciousness, and every time I see a whole red tomato I wonder “Could I make Tomato Basil Pie with that?”

Usually, the answer is no. Because usually, it’s not August or September, and ripe, local tomatoes simply aren’t available. I’ve never attempted this recipe with winter tomatoes. It probably wouldn’t be half bad, but it wouldn’t live up to what I remember of it since its September 2002 publication.

But here we are. Juicy, red, ripe tomatoes are on their way to our counters, and Tomato Basil Pie is soon to find its way onto my menu. Neither of my boys (husband or son) will eat it, so it’ll be hard to control the urge to eat it all by myself. I’ll find someone to help me. And, trust me, you will, too.

Tomato and Basil Pie

Serves 4 to 6

1 pie crust, unbaked
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
5 Roma or 4 medium tomatoes
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Unroll pie crust according to package directions. Place in a 9-inch quiche or pie dish.

Prebake according to package directions. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella cheese.

Adjust oven to 375 F.

Cut tomatoes into wedges, drain on paper towels. Arrange wedges on top of melted cheese in the baked pie shell.

In a food processor bowl, combine basil and garlic; process until coarsely chopped. Sprinkle over tomatoes.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Spoon cheese over top, spreading evenly to cover basil mixture.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly. Serve warm. Sprinkle with basil leaves if desired.

— Three Rivers Cookbook IV, “Pittsburgh Renaissance”
— Jennie Geisler can be reached on Twitter: @ETNGeisler.