The Perfect Biscuit

Last week, Mahasti enjoyed breakfast at what folks in these parts call “a country cookin’ place.” The establishment served up a bready and spongy biscuit, which got Mahasti to thinking – how does a biscuit get that texture? Was the biscuit homemade or commercially manufactured? What, really, makes the perfect biscuit?

Always experimenting and looking for new recipes and approaches, Mahasti wonders if you might help her on this quest for the best biscuit. When you think of your favorite biscuit, do you think back to a recipe from your Aunt Libby or your Granny? Is that perfect biscuit recipe one your mother made, or maybe even your uncle’s cousin’s nephew whose name you can’t remember now?

If you have one of those old recipes from a relative or friend that you think makes the perfect biscuit, would you be willing to share? Mahasti would love to give the recipe a test run and see if it gets her any closer on her quest for the perfect biscuit. Willing to help? Send your recipe to: and she’ll be chomping at the bit to get her hands in the flour.

New Sunday Brunch Menu at The Tomato Head

The Tomato Head is pleased to roll out a new Sunday brunch menu in Knoxville today, July 25. The Maryville brunch menu debuted last week (Sunday, July 18). Details and links to each menu follow below.

So what’s new? Two new sandwiches, two new huevos and two new burritos as well as a new breakfast pizza, the “Harold Shersky,” (in honor of Harold of the venerable Harold’s Deli).

Another big surprise…Egg Rolls. These unique brunch items combine scrambled local eggs rolled into Tomato Head’s pizza dough, served with a side of spicy organic ketchup and your choice of either ham, Andouille sausage, Benton’s bacon, house-made soysage, organic baked tofu or roasted onion.

We’ve also added Monkey Bread and scones, grown our biscuit and gravy options and included a few bagel combos.

It’s all yours for the trying at The Tomato Head in Knoxville on Market Square and in downtown Maryville. We open at 10am and brunch is served until 3pm.

Want to get a head start planning your order?

Leading with Her Heart

This month the Knoxville Business Journal prepared a series of feature stories on several women who’ve made a significant impact on the economy, culture and community of Knoxville. In an article titled, “Leading with Her Heart,” Mahasti receives recognition for her role in downtown’s culinary scene and reporter Carly Harrington reveals the evolution of The Tomato Head restaurant and the part it has played in the growth and revitalization of downtown and Market Square. If you haven’t had a chance to read the piece, here’s a quick link to the article:

Enjoy! And thank you for 20 years of eating at The Tomato Head!

The Tomato Head’s Peach Turnovers

What to do with the abundance of peaches available at farmers’ markets right now (besides eating them straight from the peck)? Try our recipe for peach turnovers (as demonstrated by Mahasti on WBIR earlier today) for another delicious way to put summer on your plate.

Tomato Head’s Peach Turnovers

6 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
1.5 cups sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp cold water
1 package frozen puff pasty

Two hours before assembling the turnovers, remove puff pastry from freezer. Remove the puff pastry from the box – leave puff pastry wrapped in the paper packaging until thawed.

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to boil. With a small knife make an “X” on the bottom of the peach. Fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Gently drop the peaches in the boiling water. Allow peaches to sit for one minute, then with a slotted spoon remove from boiling water and immerse in ice water. Remove peaches one at a time from the water and remove the skins. Cut the peaches along the seam and remove the pit. Chop peaches into ½ inch pieces.

Place peaches and sugar in a small pot, over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook peaches 10 – 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water, add to peaches. Stir constantly until mixture loses its murkiness. Remove from heat and cool completely. (You can speed up cooling by placing peaches in a bowl and setting the bowl over another bowl of ice.)

To assemble turnovers:

For egg wash:

1 egg
¼ cup water

Beat egg and water in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove puff pastry from packaging. Unfold one piece at a time. Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 equal squares. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of 2 sides of each square with egg wash. Place 1 tablespoon of peach filling in the middle of each square. Fold the puff pastry over the peach filling to make a triangle. Seal the triangle by pushing down on the edges with the tines of a fork.

Cut a small hole on top of each triangle – brush each with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Place turnovers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 turnovers with a little extra filling leftover to eat with vanilla ice cream.

July 2010 Art at The Tomato Head

Along with tomatoes a-plenty, fireworks, and humidity, July brings new art for both Knoxville and Maryville restaurants. We hope you’ll come in and enjoy a meal as well as the new exhibits.

In Knoxville, as of July 3rd, Jarrod Justice presents his acrylic paintings. Justice lives in Knoxville with his wife Jennifer and two sons. Painting is a part time job for him and helps buy the groceries. With so many horribly grotesque images in the art world today, he aims to fill the canvas with joyful colors and freedom. His abstract interpretation of the urban landscape creates a dialogue with the viewer – about truth, faith, and reality. He uses the everyday door and window to symbolize perspective and choice. During the last ten years he has painted mainly for friends and family, but recently his colorful acrylic paintings have joined the local art scene.
You can look at images of his recent works at:

Maryville’s Tomato Head receives the work of Julie Bernal, with an exhibit titled “Nature in Color.” Bernal’s work was most recently shown at The Tomato Head’s Knoxville location.

Where Do You Take Your Tomato Head?

Now that summer is here in its full heat and humidity, the season is ripe for travel adventures, vacations, road trips, staycations, and hookey-playing. So where do you take your Tomato Head? Snap a picture of yourself, friends or family wearing a Tomato Head T-shirt (all vintages accepted) and send it our way. We want to create a Facebook Summer 2010 Album of all the amazing places our customers take The Tomato Head.

June 2010 Exhibits at The Tomato Head

“Nature in Color,” an exhibit of acrylic paintings by Julie Bernal, will be on view at the Knoxville Tomato Head restaurant from June 5th through July 2nd, 2010.

More about Julie Bernal:
Julie Bernal grew up in Bristol, Connecticut where she became
interested in art at a young age. Bernal moved to Knoxville, Tennessee as a teenager and studied fine art in high school. She later continued her education with a degree in graphic arts. Bernal is a graphic designer at Moxley Carmichael, a premier public relations firm in downtown Knoxville. She spends her free time focusing on creating fine art. Her other passions include interior design and traveling.
Bernal’s collection, “Nature in Color,” consists of modern acrylic
paintings. They were inspired by her love for design by using shapes, patterns and colors found in nature. Bernal also has other collections which include realistic landscape paintings, charcoal portrait drawings, and digital photography of architecture.

Artist Statement:
I wake up every day ready to create. I use my art as a way to capture specific moments and feelings. It is the best way for me to keep a journal of my life.

For more information or to view more, visit

In Maryville, the exhibit, “Watercolors by Kelly Coffey, Mixed-Media & Works On Paper by Diana Rogers” will be available for viewing through July 2nd. The show was most recently presented at the Knoxville Tomato Head location throughout the month of May.

Tomato Head’s Mini-Cheesecakes with Local Black Raspberries

Cool and sweet, these mini-cheesecakes take advantage of the berries plentiful this season at local farmers’ markets. They’re also easy to prepare ahead of time, making them an ideal, refreshing dessert for dinner with friends.

19 lemon snap cookies (2-inch in diameter)
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, soft
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 pint black raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 2 cupcake pans with 19 cupcake liners (If you do not have 2 cupcake pans you can bake the cheesecakes in 2 batches). Place one lemon snap in the bottom of each cupcake liner and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat softened cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add sour cream, beat until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk, beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl down well. Beat once again until mixture is lump free. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until incorporated.

Pour batter into a measuring cup for easier pouring. Fill each cupcake liner with batter, leaving ¼ inch of space before the top of the liner.

Place cheesecakes in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving.

To serve: gently wash black raspberries with cold water. Lay black raspberries flat on paper towels and gently pat dry. Mound tops of cheesecakes with fresh black raspberries.

VIDEO: Mahasti Presents Tomato Head’s Mini-Cheesecakes on WBIR

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design