Confession: if it weren’t for this blog, I would probably subsist on quesadillas. Any time inspiration and leftovers are running low, I’ll stuff a tortilla with cheese and whatever else I can scrounge up in the vegetable crisper and call it a meal.
Quesadillas, literally queso tortillas in Spanish, originated in Mexico, along with so many other tasty things. Although my default quesadilla is stuffed with black beans and dipped in salsa, my quesadillas don’t always feature traditional Mexican flavors. And why should they? Quesadillas are just another delightful cheese-and-bread base recipe with endless flavor possibilities, like pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and crêpes.
This quesadilla came to be when I had chopped vegetables and dip left over from my Greek farro and chickpea salad. It was lunchtime; I was hungry; there was no more salad to eat. Enter the quesadilla solution. If we’re getting real here, I’ll confess that I was probably still wearing my pajamas because I don’t get dressed until someone’s around to appreciate it.
Anyway, I pulled out my trusty cast iron skillet, shredded some cheese, and threw a tortilla on the pan. Five minutes later, I dipped a crispy corner of quesadilla into herbed yogurt dip and took a bite of one of my most delicious, blog-worthy quesadillas yet. Sweet tomatoes, filling chickpeas and salty sliced kalamata olives, sandwiched between layers of creamy cheese and crisp tortilla, became a totally satisfying one-skillet meal.
Tomato, Olive and Chickpea Quesadillas with Dill Yogurt DipCourse: EntreeCuisine: Greek
A crisp quesadilla stuffed with Greek flavors, including tomatoes, olives, chickpeas and red onion. Serve with dill-mint yogurt dip (optional) for a terrific quick meal, snack or appetizer.
- Per quesadilla, multiply as necessary
1 whole grain tortilla (use gluten-free tortillas for gluten-free quesadillas)
¾ cup shredded raw farmers’ cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese
¼ cup cooked chickpeas, well drained
8 mini heirloom, cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
7 pitted kalamata olives, sliced into thin rounds (or a sprinkle of capers or crumbled feta cheese)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
½ teaspoon olive oil, for brushing
- Dill-mint yogurt dip (enough for at least 4 quesadillas)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons packed fresh dill, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons packed fresh mint (or basil or flat-leaf parsley), torn into pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about ½ of a large lemon)
pinch red pepper flakes
⅛ teaspoon salt
- Make the dip: In a food processor or blender, combine all of the dip ingredients. Blend well, and transfer to a bowl(s) for dipping.
- Make the quesadilla(s) one at a time: heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Warm one tortilla for about 30 seconds, flipping halfway. Flip once more, and sprinkle one-half of the tortilla with about half of the shredded cheese. Cover the cheese with chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, and red onion. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the other fillings and fold over the empty side of the tortilla to enclose the fillings.
- Quickly brush the topside of the quesadilla with a light coating of olive oil, and flip it with a spatula. Let the underside of the quesadilla cook until golden and crispy, about a minute or two. Brush the topside with a light coating of olive oil, flip it and cook until the underside is golden and crispy. Flip it once more and immediately transfer it to a cutting board.
- Let the quesadilla cool for a couple minutes, then slice it into three even wedges using a sharp pizza cutter or chef’s knife. Serve immediately, with a side of yogurt dipping sauce.