There’s been a lot going on lately with summer wrapping up and all the rushing about trying to get done, well, what didn’t get done yet. Before I embark on a “mini-adventure” that shall remain nameless for now (of which there will of course be a post since it is going to be quite unusual), I wanted to tell you about my new culinary discovery. It may seem obvious to many of you, but I’ve always thought of Quesadillas as being solely Mexican in nature (which of course they are) meaning they should be filled with shredded cheddar, maybe some chicken or chorizo and topped with salsa…snooze! Lately, I’ve been using them to finish off the remains of farmers’ market produce. I’ve tried many different combinations, all of which included one lonely and large zucchini that was beginning to wrinkle in my fridge. Though I tried adding mozzarella (which didn’t melt well) and fresh tomatoes (which made them kind of wet), I found that the three essential ingredients were pan-sautéed zucchini and red onions, and of course, the ever-present goat cheese (you could use feta if goat is not to your liking). The result was a crispy-crusted, tangy take on an old favorite.
Makes 3 quesadillas
1 large zucchini, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large tomato, sliced
6 oz. goat cheese
basil, parsley or cilantro, chopped (about a tablespoon)
coarse salt and pepper
First, in batches, sauté the zucchini and red onion in the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper to season. Turn zucchini after about 4 minutes. Don’t overcook because they will become quite mushy. Remove from the pan, lower the heat and add the tortilla. Return the zucchini mixture to one half of the tortilla and add other ingredients topping with the goat cheese and herbs. Fold the tortilla and press with a spatula. Flip after the tortilla begins to crisp, cook for a couple of minutes more and serve.
I ate mine out in “Provence”, mosquitos be damned!
Other farmers’ market leftovers, such as peppers or eggplant, would be nice between a quesadilla as well. Experiment to your liking but remember, as S. wisely stated the other day, “I don’t think there’s anything that goat cheese doesn’t make better.”
Well, maybe not chocolate chip cookies.