Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Sexy Quesadilla

Need a great appetizer that will be satisfying to both meat eaters and vegetarians, and something that will make a lasting impression with friends and family?

This is a spin off of one of my favorite items to make.  Actually it’s a comfort food for me. It’s the quesadilla.

But of course I had to jazz it up and make it a little sexier, so here’s my Sweet potato and black bean quesadilla with a cilantro pesto, which I recently demonstrated and passed out samples at Chicago’s French Market.

Here are the ingredients for the quesadillas:
  • 4-6  large flour tortillas
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 can or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Chef Ashley Simone making sweet potato black bean quesadillas.

Stab the sweet potatoes all the way around the sweet potato with a fork. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 10 minutes, until soft. Slice open sweet potato and spoon flesh into a bowl (wait until it is cool enough to handle or hold with a pot holder). Add beans, cumin, ground chipotle, ground cinnamon, ground pepper and salt. Mash to combine, leaving some of the beans whole.

Spoon half of the sweet potato mixture onto a tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Place another tortilla on top. Repeat with remaining sweet potato mixture and tortillas.

Cook each quesadilla in a skillet or griddle over medium heat, flipping to the other side once tortilla is golden brown.

And here’s what you need for the Cilantro Pesto:
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (about two packed cups)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste

To make the pesto, cut the stems off the cilantro. Place the cilantro, garlic, lime juice and olive oil in a food processor. Mix till creamy and smooth. Add more olive oil or a dash of water if the consistency isn’t right. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now To Assemble
Place quesadillas on a cutting board, slice into quarters and serve with the cilantro pesto.  I like to put my pesto in a squeeze bottle and drizzle over the quesadilla. Be creative. Make a pretty pattern!

There you have it!   Try it at your next little party or when you have friends over for drinks.  And let me know how you like it!

1 comment:

  1. Chef Ashley Simone is one of the best chefs right now. making sweet potato black bean quesadillas is satisfying for both meat eaters and vegetarians.thank you very much for sharing.keep posting.