You are here

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Quiche


Vegan Brunch, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz with some changes by Mary H.

This recipe is from Vegan Brunch, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I have departed from her recipe in some details. Vidalia onions were not available, so I asked the grocer for any sweet onions. Four onions were still short of 3 pounds, but this was ok because my package of tofu weighed only 12 ounces, not a pound—and even so, I had a generous filling for the pie. It would have been hard to heap more filling into the shell. Speaking of the shell: instead of using Ms. Moskowitz’s recipe for the crust, I used my old standard, a recipe published decades ago by Mazola—which works just as well with canola oil.
I do wish to thank Isa Chandra for the basic recipe. This is a rich-tasting comfort food. She suggests “Serve with a salad for a simple and classy meal.”


30 ml 2 T olive oil
3 to 4 vidalia onions, diced medium (about 3 pounds)
¾ C raw, unsalted cashews
5 ml1 t salt
¼ t nutmeg
450 g1 pound extra firm tofu (12 oz works fine)

1 nine-inch pie crust, store-bought or home-made (recipe follows)


Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet or two, preferably cast iron, over low heat. Add the oil and the onions and toss the onions to coat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or more, leaving a little gap for steam to escape. Stir occasionally, every 5 minutes or so. Onions should turn a nice, mellow amber color, but not burn, although a couple of darker spots are fine.

Remove the lid and turn up the heat just a bit, to a medium setting. Stir often for another 10 minutes. Onions should become darker in color, and some of the moisture should evaporate.

While the onions are cooking:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If using a home-made crust, place the crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Poke the bottom of the dough with a fork about 5 times to prevent it from puffing up, then bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.

Also while onions are cooking:
Process the cashews in a food processor into fine crumbs. Add the salt and nutmeg. Give the tofu a squeeze to get rid of some of the water (none came out of my tofu), then crumble it into the food processor. Process until relatively smooth. If it seems too thick and not pureeing, add a tablespoon of water or two (not necessary in my case). When the caramelized onions are done cooking, add a half-cup of them to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Transfer cashew mixture to a mixing bowl and mix in the rest of the onions. Taste for salt. Use a rubber spatula to get everything into the pie crust and smooth the top out. Bake for 40 minutes, or until edges of the pie are lightly browned.

Ms. Moskowitz suggests “letting the quiche sit for 20 minutes before you dig in. She prefers it moderately warm rather than piping hot. She says it is also good at room temperature, but I much prefer it warm.

Here is the tried and true pie-crust recipe:
One-crust pie:
1 C plus 2 T unsifted flour
½ t salt
1/3 C oil (I use canola)
1 T cold water

Heat oven. Dip flour from sack with measuring utensils, level with spatula (no sifting). Mix flour, salt. Blend in oil thoroughly with fork.
Sprinkle all of water over mixture, mix well. Press dough firmly into ball. If too dry, add 1 to 2 more T oil.
Rolling and baking:
Flatten ball slightly. Immediately roll into 12-inch circle between 2 pieces of wax paper. (Wipe table with damp cloth to keep paper from slipping.) Peel off top paper, place pastry in pan, paper-side-up. Peel off paper, fit pastry in pan. Flute edges, prick well, bake as instructed above.

Two crust pie for other recipes: increase flour to 1-3/4 C, salt to 1 t, oil to ½ C, cold water to 3 T. Divide ball in 2 almost equal parts, use larger part for bottom crust; add filling, then cover with top crust and bake.

Major Ingredients: