DSC09613-002A quittata is a hybrid of a frittata and a quiche. What makes this recipe unique, other than the fact that it’s 100% plant-based, is the savory bread crust (as opposed to using a traditional quiche pastry crust). Tender and flaky pastry crust can be difficult to prepare and personally I find them to be rather bland in flavor. The savory bread crust resolves that problem and requires no baking skills. As the quittata bakes, the exterior crust becomes nice and crispy while the interior remains moist and tender. And unlike a traditional pastry crust, it won’t crumble when sliced, which makes a much nicer presentation.

If you don’t have a springform pan, the quittata can be baked in a casserole dish or baking dish and served as a breakfast/brunch casserole. Seasonings and vegetables can be modified to suit your taste; just be sure any vegetables are cooked sufficiently to remove excess moisture before adding to the eggless custard mixture.

For a traditional eggless quiche or frittata, refer to the “Chef’s Tip” at the bottom of the recipe.

Ingredients for the Eggless Filling
• 2 cartons (12.3 oz. each) Mori-Nu™ extra-firm silken tofu, or similar
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• ½ medium onion, diced
• 4 oz. mushrooms, any variety, sliced or chopped
• 8 oz. ground vegan sausage (or replace with vegetables of your choice)
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• 6 Tbsp cornstarch or unmodified potato starch
• 4 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
• ¾ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt)

Ingredients for the Savory Crust
• 5 to 6 oz. “day old” bread of your choice (about 6 slices, crust intact), cut into small cubes
• ¼ cup non-dairy butter or margarine, melted (plus additional for greasing the springform pan)
• 1 tsp dried marjoram
• ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
• ½ tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• 4 oz. shredded vegan cheese that melts (about 1 and ½ cup)

Additional Item
• 9-inch springform pan (or for a casserole use a baking dish or shallow casserole dish)

Drain the tofu and slice each block into 4 slabs. Place the slabs on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel to drain for a minimum of 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, blot the surface of the tofu with additional toweling to remove as much moisture as possible. This step is very important or the quittata will fail to set properly.

While the tofu is draining, prepare the crust and the filling. Generously grease the springform pan with butter or margarine and place the pan on a baking sheet. In large mixing bowl, toss the cubed bread with the melted butter, herbs, salt and pepper. Pack the bread mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the bread mixture. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Add the olive oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, sausage (or vegetables), and a pinch or two of salt. Sauté until the mushrooms have completely released their moisture and the onions are beginning to caramelize. It is essential that the mixture be cooked thoroughly and the excess moisture evaporated or the quittata will fail to set properly. Stir in the thyme and black pepper and set aside to cool.

Crumble the silken tofu into a food processor. Add the starch, nutritional yeast and kala namak. Process the contents until smooth. Transfer the tofu mixture to the mixing bowl. Stir in the skillet mixture and mix thoroughly.

Spoon the filling over the bread and cheese mixture and smooth the surface with the back of the spoon; sprinkle with additional ground black pepper, if desired. Bake uncovered on the middle oven rack for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of the quittata is golden. Let the quittata cool for about 15 to 20 minutes to allow it to “set” before removing from the springform pan and transferring to a serving plate. Slice and serve.

If the quittata needs to be reheated, cover securely with foil and heat in the oven at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Slices can also be reheated in the microwave but this will make the crust a bit soggy.

Chef’s Tip: For a traditional eggless quiche, omit the savory bread crust and prebake a 9-inch pastry crust for about 15 minutes at 375°F. Layer 4 oz. of shredded cheese over the bottom of the crust. Add the eggless filling mixture and smooth the top. Bake uncovered on the middle oven rack for about 50 minutes or until golden. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow it to “set” before slicing and serving.

For a traditional eggless frittata, omit the crust entirely and spoon the eggless filling mixture into a greased 9-inch oven-safe stainless steel skillet or a tart pan with or without a removable bottom. Smooth the surface and top with 4 oz. shredded cheese. Bake at 375°F on the middle oven rack for about 50 minutes or until golden. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow it to “set” before slicing and serving.