I recently had the opportunity to have brunch at Bloodroot Vegetarian restaurant, a vegetarian institution up in Bridgeport, Connecticut. As I was ordering our food, I could not decide between the tofu chilaquiles or the quiche. So this nice lady who was sitting next to the register suggested that since it was my first time there, I should order the quiche. And so I did. It was delicious! I have not had quiche in years and it blew me away. It wasn’t too heavy and the crust was so flaky.
As I was finishing my quiche, that nice lady came over to my table with a small bowl of the tofu chilaquiles for me and then sat down to talk about vegan cooking! She is one of the owners and cooks of the place. Her name is Selma and she is pretty awesome.
I told her how much I loved the quiche and she proceeded to share her recipe! It is almost unheard of for a restaurant to share their recipes (and believe me, I always ask!) but this was a whole different experience.
First, she told me how to make the pie crust. She explained it to me, it’s so simple, I didn’t even have to write it down. Then she shared her quiche recipe. She even let me take a picture of it!
Since it’s the summer and I have an abundance of tomatoes, I decided to try the crust and work with tomatoes and figure I’ll make the quiche in the winter when I am looking for a project.
First, I made a galette (also known as a crostata) with big heirloom tomatoes from my friend’s garden. A galette is free form so I didn’t have to worry about shaping it in a pie plate (which isn’t that hard either!) I sliced big beautiful ripe tomatoes, layered them on the crust, sprinkled with thyme and oregano, and brushed it with a little olive oil. I baked it at 350 until it looked done. Check it out! It is beautiful and delicious.
Then I made little tomato tartlets. These are inspired by a tomato pie my niece brought me and by the cutest little tomatoes my friend brought. It’s the same crust, but I cut out little rounds and pressed them into my tart pan. Then I sautéed some onions, garlic and oregano with a whole bunch of tomatoes of varying sizes and colors. I doled that out amongst the tarts, topped each of them with one little tomato and a combo of pecans, nooch and olive oil plus a sprinkle fresh parsley from my garden.
Both came out perfectly. This dough is life changing! I usually only make pecan pie during Thanksgiving but I have a feeling this crust is going to change my pie life!
Coconut Oil Crust
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegan sugar (cane or beet)
1/3 cup melted refined coconut oil
Water, to the 1/2 cup line (about 2 tablespoons)
Scoop out a cup of flour. It doesn’t have to be perfect, no exact measurements! Add the salt and sugar and mix around to incorporate.
Add the coconut oil to a measuring cup. Then, fill the cup up with water to the 1/2 cup line.
Add the oil/water mixture to the flour and mix together. It will come together quickly and easily.
Have two big pieces of plastic wrap ready along with a rolling pin.
Turn out dough onto one of the pieces of plastic wrap. Top with the other piece and roll out the dough, turning it every so often so the dough becomes round and flat and as thin as you would like it.
Use as desired, either as a free form galette, cutting out little tartlets, or turning out into a pie pan. If making a pie, you will have enough dough to shape the edges and depending on the pie, you might want to par bake the crust with a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom filled with dry beans for about 10 minutes.
Note: I use the entire dough for the galette but only about two thirds for the tartlets. I put the rest into the freezer for a future project. The quiche perhaps!