Monday, December 19, 2011

Tropical Quesadillas

I just discovered the appeal in tropical screen savers. But instead of plastering white-sand beaches across my computer screen I decided to eat them on a plate. Yesterday felt like winter in Providence for the first time and rather than simmer a giant pot of soup I made Mexican quesadillas and imagined eating them under an umbrella.

slightly adapted from Plenty 
serves 4

Black Bean Paste:
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (canned are fine)
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 small handful cilantro, chopped
juice 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 green onions, thinly sliced
5 medium tomatoes, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 handful cilantro, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
3/4 tsp salt
juice 1/2 lime
2 ripe avocados, diced

8 small corn tortillas
3/4 cup sour cream*
4 1/2 oz good-quality shard Cheddar, grated*
6 tbsp drained and roughly chopped pickled jalapenos

*for vegan, either leave out or substitute with your favorite dairy free sour cream and cheese

To make black bean paste. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and quickly pulse until a rough paste has formed.

Make the salsa. First soak the red onion in the vinegar in a large bowl for a few minutes. Then add all of the other ingredients and stir well.

Prepare a griddle pan or skillet over medium/high heat.

Take one of the tortillas and spread with 2 tablespoons of the bean paste, creating a large circle in the center but leaving about 3/4 inch clear all around at the edge. Over one half of the bean circle spread a tablespoon of sour cream, a sprinkle of Cheddar, a tablespoon of salsa and some jalapenos. Fold over the other tortilla half.

To cook, gently place the quesadillas on the heat, leave for 2-3 minutes, then turn and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. The filling should be warm and the tortilla nicely charred.

Cut each tortilla into two at an angle and transfer to a serving dish. Spoon remaining salad alongside and garnish with cilantro leaves.


  1. yummy!! i looooove mexican food! black beans and cilantro are high up in my book. the word "tropical" makes me yearn for summer, and not the cold winter that is going down right now :/

  2. Looks great, I have tried several of your recipes and they are always a big hit with my family. Thanks for sharing!


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