Pumpkin Quesadillas

pumpkin quesadillaI told you when I learned about that awesome cooking method for winter squash that I’d be using it a lot.

American readers, how was your Thanksgiving? I managed to fill myself up on assorted vegetables and cheeses from the platter I brought for pre-dinner snacking (my family does a potluck type Thanksgiving meal) and ended up being the perfect amount of full without going over when it came to turkey hour.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Because I work in the natural food industry, and so much of my focus last week was on, “Try this. How about this recipe? Have you purchased you turkey?” type promotions, I was all food-ed out after the day of giving thanks and worshiping turkey was over. Of course, food is my passion, so I wasn’t dreaming of take-out for long.

And suddenly, here’s December. It’s cold. It’s snowing. Electricity at the house and at work has become a chancy thing, so I put together a filling, taste-sensation type of meal that is easy to assemble — even if you’re doing it by candlelight.

Pumpkin Quesadillas

Serves 2-3 people, depending on appetite

1 sugar pie pumpkin or other winter squash, cooked (I used a kuri squash. A can of pumpkin puree would work, too.)
½ cup soft, white cheese like queso fresco (I used Laychee from Pennyroyal Farm. A white cheddar would also work if you didn’t have access to a softer cheese.)
¼ – ½ cup Hatch chiles or other green pepper, cooked and diced
½ cup black beans
Green salsa
4 Gluten-free tortillas
Pumpkin seeds for garnish

Warm up a griddle or large pan on medium heat. Lay 2 tortillas on griddle. Spread squash over the tortilla, going almost to the ends. Follow with a sprinkling of cheese, then chiles, then black beans. Cover with tortillas.
When the cheese has melted, carefully flip the quesadillas over and cook on the other side for 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and cut quesadillas with a pizza cutter into wedges. Drizzle with green salsa and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

I paired this meal with Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale. It’s an amazing brew each year, and the 2013 did not disappoint. Man it’s a fantastic seasonal ale! If it’s available in your area, BUY IT. I look forward to it each December.

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