A quesadilla is one of those foods that gives you ample wiggle-room to perfect it to your liking. It can be spiffed-up with gourmet cheeses and partnered with a number of different, interesting options or you can just keep it simple and pair it with a great salsa. The possibilities really are endless. This is why a quesadilla is one of my favorite go-to foods when I am in need of a quick lunch or weeknight meal. Perfect on its own or combined with a bowl of soup or a salad and you’ve got a complete meal.
Quite often, I make a quesadilla as an after school snack for my kids or as an appetizer served to dinner guests. If you’re wrinkling up your nose and considering a quesadilla to be too low-brow for a cocktail or dinner party, think again. When I was working and doing events for some fairly high-brow people, the gussied-up quesadillas and fancy sausages wrapped in puff pastry were among the first appetizers to disappear.
How can you go wrong with melted cheese in a tortilla?
|These little peelers appeared in my Christmas stocking last year. They are great and so sharp. This one will julienne anything.|
|One swipe across one of my homegrown zucchini and I instantly have julienned zucchini.|
This beats having to slice the zucchini and then slice again into matchstick sized pieces.
|The first layer. Show a little cheese love to the outside edges of the tortilla, would you? You’ll thank me later.|
|Repeat the layering process for the next layer and top the whole thing with the remaining tortilla. You’re going to have to flip this baby, so really make sure your cheese reaches the edges. I didn’t do a very good job of this as seen in the previous photo, and lost some corn in the flip. That’s a serious offense in the quesadilla rule book. Guilty as charged.|
|Even with a little collateral damage, this double-decker quesadilla has plenty to offer. Cut it into quarters and pair it with a soup or salad and call it dinner, or cut it smaller and dot the top with guacamole and a cilantro leaf and you’ve got a tasty appetizer.|
|Because I can’t leave well-enough alone, I topped my piece with sliced avocado and my favorite Cholula hot sauce.|
After this shot, I positioned myself over my kitchen sink and ate one piece. And then I ate another. I’ll spare you the visuals, but it was delicious.
Corn and Zucchini Quesadilla
Recipe adapted from Dining By Design: Stylish Recipes-Savory Settings
Makes 4 servings as a main course
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
3 7 or 8-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (or half Monterey Jack and half cheddar)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/3 cup julienned zucchini
If using fresh corn, blanch one ear as I did here or wrap in plastic wrap and put in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Remove kernels from cob with a knife and place in bowl. Toss warm corn with butter and salt and pepper to taste. If using frozen corn, place butter into a skillet, add corn and saute until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Arrange 1 tortilla on an parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Layer with cheese, onion, jalapeno, corn, zucchini and more cheese. Arrange another tortilla over the top and repeat the layering. Cover with the remaining tortilla. Bake for 4 minutes. Turn the stack over and bake for 4 to 6 minutes more or until the tortillas are slightly crisp and the cheese is melted. Quarter the stack and serve immediately.