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'...
...my 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 color...so 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 to do better.  
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.  She can certainly rest easy on that success ;o) 

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 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

(American / Metric measures)

Part 1
.. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) grapeseed 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, stemmed and chopped
. 1/8 cup (30ml) dry white wine
. 1/4 tsp. (1ml) sea salt
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) mix of Italian dried herbs
Part - 2
.  6 xLarge eggs
. 1 cup (250g) fresh Ricotta cheese
. 1/8 tsp. (.5ml) sea salt

. 40-45 Tortilla corn chips *
. 14 pitted, low salt black olives
. generous handful of roasted nuts of choice (optional)

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

. Pre-heat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5.
. Position the rack on the second level from the bottom.
. Use a large, round 10 x 2 inch (26 x 5cm) shallow, oven-proof dish.  

. Generously grease dish with vegetable oil.  

Part 1 - Vegetable mix can be prepared ahead of time:
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter.  Add the onions and sauté a few minutes before adding the garlic and pepper slices.   Cook through until caramelized.  Lower the heat to MEDIUM-LOW.  This will take about another 10 minutes or so.
2.  Turn up the heat slightly.  Then add to this mix, the sun-dried tomatoes as well as the greens (stemmed, washed and spun dry).
3. Continue to cook until the greens have shrank halfway.  Add a generous splash of wine.
4. Add seasoning 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:
5. In a blender, mix the eggs, salt, as well as the ricotta and blend until smoothly combined.
6. Place enough Tortilla chips to cover the bottom of the dish. 
7. Spread the vegetable mix evenly on top and lightly pat down.
8. Pour the creamy egg-ricotta mix slowly over top.  Sprinkle with the (optional) roasted nuts and garnish with the black olives.
9. 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. 

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 quiche...
you'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 for...you 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 recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.