All-season quesadillas

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honourable career:
For the sake of others,
disappear."

- from "The Traveling Onion" by Naomi Shihab Nye

It seems like a transition of seasons right now. Warm enough to eat brunch outside today, cool enough to need a sweater while doing it. Warm enough to buy swiss chard and onions at the farmers' market, but cool enough to turn them into quesadillas.

The hardest part of posting a quesadilla recipe is taking a picture that does it justice. Generally, a photo of a cooked quesadilla makes it look a half-moon of fried bread. A photo of the ingredients before they're added to the quesadilla is more evocative, but doesn't tell the whole picture. I've compromised today by taking photos of the assembled but not-yet-cooked product, hoping it conveys just how delicious these quesadillas really are. Because whether it's the middle of summer or the coldest day in the winter, I could come up with a hundred good reasons why these quesadillas would be just right.

Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onions Quesadillas
(from Fresh From the Farm, by Susie Middleton)

1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (first amount)
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
kosher salt
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
4 cups thinly sliced Swiss chard leaves (from 8 ounces of chard, stemmed)
4 – 6” tortillas
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil  (second amount)

In a small bowl, combine the sherry vinegar and honey.

In a 10” heavy nonstick skillet, melt the butter with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and 1/4 tsp kosher salt and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the onions are very limp and light golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the Swiss chard and a pinch of salt to the pan and toss with tongs until wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the vinegar-honey mixture on top, tossing well. Transfer the chard-onion mixture to a plate to cool a bit and wipe out the pan.


Return the pan to medium heat and add 1 tsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add one tortilla to the pan. Place one quarter of the cheese over half the tortilla, then cover with a quarter of the chard-onion mixture. Fold the empty half of the tortilla over, and cook until browned on both sides. Keep warm until all the tortillas have been prepared and serve immediately.

24 comments:

Julie said...

These look perfect for a summer lunch. Hope your weekend has been good.

Claudia said...

The unphotogenic quesidilla is a comfort food to me. It embraces all. Especially the lowly onion! Perfect lunch for 4 seasons.

I Wilkerson said...

These look great! I think my middle daughter is living on wraps (always with caramelized onions) this summer!

grace said...

i love quesadillas of all kinds, and this is particularly unique! i can eat caramelized onions just by themselves. :)

Valerie Gamine said...

I'm snuggled in a sweater too (what gives, August?). Now I'm craving onions and quesadillas and writing beautiful things about both. xo

bakewithjill.com said...

Swiss chard sounds delicious! I never get tired of quesadillas.

bamskitchen said...

I wish we were between season in Hong Kong but it is just steamy hot both inside and outside. However, if I put the air conditioner on full blast I might get that same feeling. LOL I love these quesadillas so simple and perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Beth, one of our children keeps asking for Quesadillas - looking at your wonderful recipe should really be the inspiration that I need to finally make some - your version with Swiss chard and caramelized onions looks utterly delicious!

Liz Berg said...

I don't know why quesadillas always seem to be off my radar when it comes to dinner ideas! I love them and your onion and chard version is a delicious option :)

We Are Not Martha said...

It's SO hard to photograph quesadillas! But these ones look and sound SO delicious... love the caramelized onions :)

Sues

allieksmith said...

I agree that photographig quesedillas is a hard job.. but someone has to do it! Your photo looks great! And delicious. We are definitely in between seasons right now! It's weird and exciting at the same time :)

Angie Schneider said...

Love meatless meals like this...your quesadilla looks fantastic, Beth.

Joanne said...

We are really in a weird place with the seasons right now...but thankfully quesadillas are good at any time of year!

A fresh start said...

I love your description of the change of seasons. It fits Paris perfectly right now !

kirstenlopresti said...

The quesadillas look delicious. We aren't that close to the change of seasons here. September is generally fantastically hot, but I'm looking forward to Fall.

Pam said...

Yes, chilly here the last few days and hot and humid today. Your quesadillas would be great any weather! Great with all that onion it it and thanks for the unique recipe.

Guru Uru said...

One of my favourite dinners my friend, love quesadillas :D
Yours look delicious!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Amy said...

We make all kinds of quesadillas, but I've never used Swiss chard in the before. These are a tasty way to eat your greens!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I've never had Swiss chard in a quesadilla before, and I must say I really like the idea. Plus we have tons of it growing in our yard, so I have no excuse not to make this! The weather here has been mild, but it's just about to get really hot again for a few days. Anyway, really nice recipe -- thanks.

Simones Kitchen said...

Ooo now you have me wanting some quesadillas... That looks delicious and yes, I think Mexican food is probably one of he hardest to photograph in general. But you compromised just right...:)

Mary Callan said...

We love quesadillas - and these look fabulous:)
Mary

Juliana Levine said...

Such a healthy quesadilla...simple and so delicious!
Hope you are having a great week Beth :D

veggieats.com said...

Healthy quesadilla! and your photography is great...these are perfect for any weather :)

Victoria said...

I love quesadillas in all forms, but I really like your healthy variation here. Using fresh greens is a great way to create a hearty filling without all the calories. Well done :)

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