The kitchen of the house I lived at in college had not one but two quesadilla makers. Granted there were eleven girls living there but still a bit excessive. Especially considering a quesadilla can be made in a frying pan, of which I’m sure we owned many. Buy, hey, we loved our late night quesadillas and tipsy college girls cannot be bothered with frying pans.
Recently, I’ve been finding myself home alone more often and quesadillas have made a comeback. You can understand why college students love them: they’re cheap, easy to throw together and super cheesy. (And who doesn’t love cheesy?)
My tastes and dietary preferences have…err…developed a bit since college. A quesadilla is mostly carb and cheese and not exactly a balanced meal. I try to sneak in as many veggies as possible between those two tortillas but even then I don’t think it can be classified as healthy- the balance is still heavily in favor of the cheese. On certain occasions I’m craving a super cheesy quesadilla and that’s what I’d make, but this day I decided to see if I could shake up the proportions a bit.
This recipe falls squarely into the balanced category. One crispy tortilla packed with pumpkin puree, beans and salsa with just a sprinkle of cheese and served with a simple shredded cabbage salad. Did you know that pumpkin is packed with antioxidants and Vitamin A? It’s also full of fiber! And luckily I had some leftover from the can used in the pumpkin spice cake I made last week. One savory recipe, one sweet recipe- how perfect.
Given that the tortillas is folded and the cheese goes on top, I’m calling these “enchiladas”, however you can call them whatever you want. They were thrown together one night as I was trying to clean out the fridge and I liked the combination so much I had it two more times that week.
I used two different types of salsa in this recipe. I always seem to have a jar or two hanging around from a well intentioned chips and salsa purchase. You can use the same salsa for both inside and on top but if not using chunky salsa the amount may need to be decreased to prevent the filling from becoming runny. If you decide to make more than a single serving, make sure to toast each tortilla individually. The crispy exterior makes these extra yummy.
2 teaspoon grape seed, sunflower or canola oil
1 large tortilla (I used flour, but corn would work too)
1/4 cup (~60 grams) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup (~65 grams) canned black beans
1/4 cup (~60 grams) chunky salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar which is a corn, black bean and pepper salsa)
1 tablespoon (~15 grams) enchilada sauce or pureed salsa
1/4 cup (~20 grams) shredded cheddar cheese
optional: lime wedge and cilantro
Special Equipment Needed:None
Preheat the broiler on low. Mix together pumpkin puree, black beans and salsa. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a small oven proof skillet. Rotate skillet so that there is a film of oil over the entire surface. Add tortilla to pan and spread the pumpkin mixture down the center leaving space on both sides to fold the tortilla on to itself. Allow the tortilla to cook until browned. Using a spatula, fold both sides of the tortilla on to itself. Spoon the enchilada sauce or pureed salsa on and then sprinkle cheese on top. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheesy is bubbly and just beginning to brown. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle of cilantro and a simple side salad.
Wine Pairing: I paired this with glass of dry rosé. If you’re thinking of sickly sweet White Zinfandel rosé stop! This is a different animal. A nice glass of dry rosé is a perfect pairing to many foods, especially bold ethnic flavors. The clean, crisp flavors offset the heat, there is enough acid to match the lime and salsa and cut through the cheese. Rosé also has some of the characteristics of red wine, the fruit and body, that will match bolder flavors. If your lost on how to choose a dry rosé look for those from Provence, France. They are fairly consistent and affordable.