• United States

Chef, Author and Culinary Entrepreneur

Ron is the founder, president, and culinologist of Eco-Cuisine, Inc., a US vegetarian and vegan foodservice company. He is the first vegetarian chef to be certified as an Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation and has 50 years’ experience in professional kitchens ranging from fine dining to QSR. As a Food Technologist/Culinologist, his specialty is research and development of natural, vegan foodservice savory speed scratch products with pulses designed for chefs to cook with and build into their menus to serve healthy diners embracing vegetarian cuisine.

Ron is also the Founder/President of the American Natural Foods non-profit which funded his team to compete at the quadrennial International Culinary Olympics in Germany. Between 1980 and 1996 he won seven medals (gold, silver, and bronze) with plant-based vegan pulse proteins and was the first chef in the history of that prestigious event to do so. Ron has made numerous television appearances, authored three cookbooks, and recently self-published The Classical Vegetarian Cookbook for Professional Chefs and Inspired Cooks in 2015 taking pulse proteins to classical entrée status, produced numerous cooking technique videos featured on Eco-Cuisine’s website and YouTube on vegetarian cuisine, and written many articles for national periodicals. He has been featured in Vegetarian Times, Art Culinaire, The National Culinary Review, USA Today Weekend, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Chicago Sun Times and Los Angeles Times, among others.

Recipes from Ron Pickarski

More from Ron Pickarski

Ron Pickarski

Italian Cannellini Bean Quiche and Roasted Hazelnut Canneloni Bean Pesto

Italian Cannellini Bean Quiche and Roasted Hazelnut Canneloni Bean Pesto

The combination of roasted hazelnuts, basil, and fennel create a sweet herbaceous flavor profile that compliments the Italian Quiche. The beans enrich the texture and reduce the fat working off the oil while significantly increasing its nutritional density. If desired, this pesto could be added to the quiche.

8 Person(s)
Preparation time
0 min
Cooking time
0 min

Gourmet Gurus, Mains
Super easy



  • 1 cup hazelnuts, roasted
  • 4 cups basil, fresh, chopped, and packed into cup
  • 1 cup cooked cannelloni beans (used Bush Beans)
  • 2 tsp fennel powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic, fresh, minced
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups leeks, sliced
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded or match stick
  • 2 tsp garlic, fresh minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fennel powder
  • 2 cups basic tofu pate (page 252 in Class Veg. Cookbook)
  • 2 cups canneloni beans (Bush Beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 recipe basic pie crust (page 336 in Class Veg. Cookbook)
  • 10 roma tomatoes (jardinnare cut)
  • 10 chopped roasted hazelnuts


For the pesto

  1. Roast hazelnuts in pre-heated 350º F. oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and can pick up the roasted scent.
  2. Wash and prep the basil and parsley
  3. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Containerize and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the quiche

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. oven
  2. Prepare and roll out and line 10-inch pie tin or torte pan with pie crust
  3. Prepare Basic Tofu Pate Mix
  4. In a saute pan on medium heat, pour the oil. Let heat for 2-3 minutes and add the carrots and saute for about three minutes.
  5. Add the leeks, garlic, salt, and fennel powder and let saute about another 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add Basic Tofu Pate and Cannellini Beans and mix until evenly dispersed.
  7. Puncture pie crust and pre-bake for 10 minutes. Place filling in it, smooth out, and lightly oil top. Bake for 30 minutes or until temperature is 165-170° F when taking custard temperature. Remove from oven, lightly brush with oil, and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Can refrigerate and reheat as needed or al a carte.
  8. To garnish, sprinkle the Roma Tomatoes and chopped hazelnuts

Recipe notes

This recipe is courtesy of our Gourmet Guru Ron Pickarski. Find out more about him and his book here.