Chipotle Cherry and Green Bean Quesadillas

One of my childhood favorite meals, I have many of fond memories making quesadillas at my grandparents beach house in Rosarito Mexico. I would spend all day on the beach, coming up to the house only to throw together a quick lunch made with the authentic tortillas and fillings we bought in town. Sadly, it appears those days are over, as our old rustic house on the beach was just recently sold. But that does't mean I'm done making quesadillas. 

This dish only vaguely resembles what I used to throw together as a kid, as my new adult strategy includes trying to jam as many vegetables in-between the layers of tortilla and cheese as possible. This late spring/early summer recipe is loaded up with seasonal produce, including an indulgent chipotle cherry salsa that will make you want to lick the plate when the quesadillas are gone! I waited for cherry season to create this recipe, and after the first bite, I knew I had made the right decision. This salsa is not only insanely delicious, but super easy to make. That's what I call a win win!

Crunchy green beans and creamy potatoes provide a nutritious and filling base, as the melty cheese and warm tortillas gently hold everything together. The chipotle cherry salsa will make you forget about all of your problems, as you're whisked away by the rich smoky flavors, and refreshing contrast of cool salsa and warm cheese. It's summertime people, and this light, seasonal quesadilla will truly help you embrace this magical time of year. 

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Chipotle Cherry and Green Bean Quesadillas 

Servings: 4

Ingredients

Chipotle Cherry Salsa

1 cup cherries, pitted

1-2 chipotles and 2 tbsp adobo sauce

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Salt to taste

Quesadillas

3-4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

1 lb green beans, trimmed, and cut into 1-2" pieces

1 lb red potatoes (or new potatoes), cut into small wedges

1 large onion, chopped

8 (10-inch) flour tortillas

4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place all salsa ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

  2. Bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil in a large skillet. Add the green beans, cover, and let cook for 5 minutes. Drain, remove green beans from skillet, and set aside

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green beans back into the pan, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until everything is warm and tender.

  4. Place 1/4 cup of cheese on the bottom half of each tortilla. Evenly distribute the filling on top of the cheese, then top with another 1/4 cup of cheese. Gently fold over the other half of the tortilla to seal, making each quesadilla into a half circle. Heat another 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat, and cook the quesadillas for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crunchy, and the cheese is melted. Serve with salsa.

Tips:

  • I like to make quesadillas using a folded tortilla to create a half circle shape, but you can also lay down your cheese and fillings, and top with another whole tortilla. However, I find this method to be a little more challenging, as it's hard to transfer and flip the quesadilla in the pan. The half circle shape helps keep all of the filling tucked inside, and also makes it easier to eat. 

  • I strongly prefer to use an immersion blender for the salsa, as opposed to using a conventional blender. Less mess is always a good thing!

  • Use more cheese if you like, but I prefer just enough to hold everything together, letting the filling and salsa shine. 

  • If you have a high heat tolerance, throw in another chipotle or two, and don't skimp on the adobo sauce. It adds a ton of flavor, but can definitely be too spicy for some. 

  • I prefer to use whole wheat tortillas to add an extra boost of nutrition, but use whatever you prefer. 

Ben Mastracco