Somethin’ different

Every so often it is time for something lighthearted and tasty, so I decided that today’s bit of lightness is a new favorite Vegetarian Friday night meal of ours called Layered Quesadillas. I love it because one layer is winter squash, one layer is black beans and salsa, and one raw milk “Wisconsin Jack Cheese”. I use rice flour tortillas as I do not eat gluten if I can avoid it. The original was courtesy of Bon Appetit but as always I have made it my own.

Layered Quesadillas

Ingredients

4 Rice Flour tortillas

1 1/2 cups of cubed winter squash, steamed lightly, Butternut or any dense sweet variety.

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Eden Brand Black Beans (Eden does not  use cans lined with BPA plastic)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 clove of minced garlic

1/2 cup salsa, Paul Newman’s brand, medium or hot

4 ounces of Jack cheese, grated for melting. I use Organic Valley’s Raw “Wisconsin Jack”

1 handful of cilantro for sprinkling on top.

2 tablespoons of grapeseed (Napa Valley Naturals) oil plus oil for brushing on tortillas

Equipment

1 baking sheet

….

Method

Lightly brush the tortillas on one side with oil and place in preheated oven at 350 degrees, you can use a baking sheet or just put them on the racks in the oven. Toast them for 10 minutes until slightly crispy but not browned. Remove and cool or I have been doing one at a time and layering as I go because it works better if the quesadilla is not too crispy. If you are doing them all at one time or individually, place one finished tortilla on a baking sheet.

In a small pan put 1 tablespoon oil. Saute the chopped onion for about 5 minutes and then add the cubed squash and finish cooking the onions and squash to taste about 10 minutes. Place this mixture on top of one tortilla and spread it out to cover the tortilla.

Wipe out your pan and put another tablespoon of grapeseed oil in the bottom. Add to this one can of Eden brand Black Beans, chili powder, garlic and 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa (I like Paul Newman brand medium or hot but there is a local salsa called Clyde’s that is pretty tasty but not organic). Heat gently, and then mash lightly and add 1/4 cup salsa, mixing thoroughly. Place another tortilla on top of the squash layer and spread the bean mixture over that tortilla.

Sprinkle another tortilla with grated cheese and lightly bake in oven to melt. When just melted place on top of bean layer and top with fourth tortilla. You quite literally now have a tower of tortillas filled with tasty ingredients. I let mine sit for a few minutes before baking as at our house the crispier the tortillas the messier and gets a thumbs down from the spousal unit.

When you are almost ready to eat put your layered quesadilla in the oven and bake until heated through about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for a few minutes to make for easier slicing. When ready to plate, cut with a pizza cutter in to four pieces and serve with extra salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

….

I love to eat food in layers, so first I peeled off the bean layer topped with the cheese.  I added some salsa and ate this layer of simple but delish comfort food. This leaves a second layer of lovely sweet winter squash to be enjoyed separately, almost like dessert. If you are a person who eats pizza in layers you will understand that there is a method to my madness. However, the spousal unit is much more conventional and he insisted on knife and fork (not big on the finger food, not big on eating in layers) and when that required an entire package of napkins he set the knife and fork down. With some reluctance he then picked up the entire piece of quesadilla and ate it biting through all the layers and enjoying it right down to every last black bean.

A “morning after” comment: This quesadilla can be reheated, it isn’t quite as good but I saved it in parchment paper and then reheated on the baking sheet on top of parchment paper. The tortillas crisped slightly and it got the thumbs up from the somewhat picky spousal unit, so I thought I should add that you might even get two meals out of one layered quesadilla recipe. It depends on the appetites of the diners.

….

Buon Appetito.

See you next week,

Kris

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