Tortilla Veggie Ricotta QUICHE {gluten-free}

Offerings from a no-dough foundation to a glorious crown of tortilla corn chips.
A distinctive quiche to honour the two most influential women in my life.

There had always been a very robust triangular symbol in our family.
It had reflected the three generations of strong minded women.

At the head of our Italian family was my very endearing, 'Nonna Rosa'... Mommy who was the glue that held everything together...
....and myself who always carried on to please both of them.

With the Autumn season upon us, I am reminded of our loss of our precious 'Nonna'
She was our Queen Bee with a unique personality and certainly a force to be reckoned with.
She was a beloved leader and an incredibly opinionated speaker...she sure was ;) 
She possessed an remarkable aura that had people desiring to be around her all the time.  

Although I miss my 'Nonna's' physical presence, I do always feel her nearby my kitchen sanctuary.  Really, I'm not just saying it as a strange ghostly statement.  I can actually hear her in a sort of loud whisper...especially when making desserts.   Like for instance, she had never been shy to express her gentle opinions concerning my culinary skills:  "The cake turned out very moist...but...maybe next time, a little more sugar should be added."  Other times she'd say..."The cookies are so tasty...but...maybe, a little less baking time would have been better."  

Back when I lived at my other home surrounded by a substantial flowering garden, she would also have to poke her nose at my landscaping creations..."It's very beautiful Claudia...but...maybe it's still a little too green...a few more pops of color would be better."   Pink, was her favourite I planted plenty of autumnal Chrysanthemums in my garden.  Surrounded by beautiful color and harmony is what I look forward to every day.   

Growing up, I've always challenged myself more than usual.  I guess there were a few too many expectations placed on me without realizing it at the time.  
Jeez,  growing up towards adulthood, I always wondered if I'd measure up.  In reality, my Nonna's sense of balancing the negative remarks with something positive wasn't too hard to handle after all.  It did indirectly push me to strive for better in myself and for others.  
In many ways, I've been told that I've pretty much carried on her legacy.  I now sound and somewhat act like her.  Yikes...hopefully, that turns out to be a positive thing.

My dear, gracious Mommy was usually in the middle of all this.  All she really desired was for her Mom to think she was a wonderful daughter and for me to excel after she had set a solid path of principals for me.  She has certainly achieved being a great parent and setting the perfect example.  So she can rest easy on that success ;o)  We are so fortunate to be able to truly enjoy each other's company...especially on our ritual outings.

Oh...and did I forget to mention that our 'Nonna' loved quiche.
Mom, as well...and she's been asking me for my no-dough crust quiche recipe for quite some time.  

So, without further a due, I'd like to dedicate this symbolic quiche to two exceptional women.

crowned Queen
Tortilla crust Veggie Ricotta Quiche
serves 4-6 persons

Click HERE for a PRINTER version

The foundation of this quiche makes good use of all the unwanted broken tortilla chips found at the bottom of the bag.

(American / Metric measures)

Part 1
. 3 tbsp. (45ml) grape seed oil 
. 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
. 1 small garlic clove, minced
. 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
. 8 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
. 1 big bunch of Kale greens, de-stemmed and chopped
. 1/8 cup (25ml) dry white wine
. 1/4 tsp. (1ml) sea salt
. 1 tbsp. (15ml) mix of Italian dried herbs

Part 2
.  6 large eggs
. 1 cup (250g) fresh Ricotta cheese
. 1/8 tsp. (.5ml) sea salt

. 40-45 Tortilla corn chips
. 14 pitted, non-salted black olives 
. a generous handful of roasted hazelnuts or almonds, crushed (optional)

Use a large, rounded 10 x 2 in.(26 x 5cm) shallow, oven-proof dish.
Oven setting at 375F/170C/Gas5.  
Position the rack on the second level from the bottom.

Part 1 - Vegetable mix can be prepared ahead of time:
. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter.  Add the onions and sauté a few minutes before adding the pepper slices.   Lower the heat to medium-low.  Cook through until caramelized.  This will take about another 15 minutes or so.
. Turn up the heat slightly.  Then add to this mix, the sun-dried tomatoes as well as the greens (de-stemmed, pre-washed and spun dry).
. Continue to sauté until the greens have shrank halfway.  Add a good splash of wine.
. The seasoning is sprinkled last.  Toss until well combined.  Turn off the heat and keep the mix ready to receive the egg-ricotta blend.  Set aside.

Part 2 - ASSEMBLY:
. Pre-heat the oven at 375F/170C/Gas5.  Position the rack on the second level from the bottom.
. In a blender, mix the eggs, salt, as well as the ricotta and blend until smoothly combined.
. Oil the dish generously with some vegetable oil.   
. Place enough Tortilla chips to cover the bottom of the dish.   
. Spread the vegetable mix evenly on top and lightly pat down.
. Pour the creamy egg-ricotta mix slowly over top.  Sprinkle with the (optional) roasted nuts and finish with the black olive garnish.
. Lastly, around the perimeter of the dish, dig and place each Tortilla chip (wide-side down) by over-lapping them.  These will have to be snuggled together in order to form the proper shield.
. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 more minutes before serving.  Buon appetito ;o)

In memory of our beloved 'Nonna'...
thank you for influencing us with your strength...
contributing to our positive outlook and ultimately to our well being.

I hope that when you have a chance to realize such an unusual'll connect with a similar symbolic affection.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.

OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new to the'll thank me later.