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    • Randy Graham

    • March 4, 2013 in Columnists

    Savory Cheese and Tomato Pie

    Savory Cheese & Tomato Pie

    Are you allergic to eggs but would love to eat quiche? Here’s an egg-less quiche for those that are allergic to eggs or for those that want to avoid the extra cholesterol found in traditional quiches. It is fun, easy to prepare and delicious.

    Be warned. This recipe is loaded with calories. To reduce the calories, substitute butter for olive oil but be aware of the increase in cholesterol as a result of the substitution. You can also reduce the amount of cheese to ¼ cup and 1/3 pound, respectively. Olives are traditionally high in calories and derive a good portion of their calories from fat. You can substitute ¼ cup chopped red onions for the Kalamata olives but I recommend trying this recipe at least once using the olives. They impart a wonderful flavor that compliments the cheeses.

    1 frozen pastry crust (pre-bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes)
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 clove garlic (minced)
    28-ounce can diced tomatoes
    ¾ teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
    ½ teaspoon dried basil
    Black pepper to taste
    2 medium sweet yellow onions
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    ½ lb. mozzarella cheese (grated or cut into thin strips)
    12 Kalamata olives (pitted and sliced lengthwise)

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic in it for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, ½ teaspoon salt  (not all of it), the parsley, basil, and pepper to taste.  Simmer this sauce, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced by about half.  It should be quite thick. Set aside.

    Peel, halve, and thickly slice the onions. Sauté in butter until golden. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

    Now you can assemble the pie. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the pre-baked pastry crust.  Arrange the onion slices over the Parmesan cheese in an even layer.  Cover the onions with the tomato sauce. Arrange the mozzarella cheese evenly on top of the sauce.   Sprinkle the olive slices over the mozzarella and bake the pie for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

    Note for my gluten-free friends – try this crust instead!

    ½ cup arrowroot starch
    1 cup amaranth flour
    ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    4 – 5 tablespoons cold water (more if necessary to form a dry ball)

    Roll pastry out to make one 12-inch pie crust. Place crust in pie tin (or use a spring form pan) and thoroughly prick sides and bottom with fork to prevent shrinking. Pre-bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

    See Chef Randy’s food blog for more recipes at: http://valleyvegetarian.blogspot.com


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