When I think of Mexican food, I don’t think of zucchini. But after having these zucchini and spinach-filled quesadillas, I think it’s here to stay in my Tex Mex food repertoire. I never thought of cumin and zucchini as a natural paring, but after putting them together in these quesadillas, it’s became clear to me that they are soulmates.
And speaking of soulmates, I watched Paris, je t’aime the other night and it was magical. I’d watched half of it a few years ago in a French class. After revisiting it, it felt even more charming than the first time I saw it.
Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I’d never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn’t know what. Maybe it was something I’d forgotten or something I’ve been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me.
Seriously, watch it. I can’t get enough of the vignettes of daily life in Paris – the fantastical and mundane rolled together in one endearing film.
And try these quesadillas, too. I can’t promise that they will make you feel the same sort of beautiful nostalgia you get from watching Paris, je t’aime. But they will make your taste buds very happy and your stomach full in less than 15 minutes. You can serve them with salsa, guacamole, or queso – any dipping sauces or toppings you like. I nibbled on a few thinly sliced radishes as I ate mine.
- • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing the quesadillas
- • 1 zucchini, cut into ½" pieces
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
- • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- • 1 garlic clove, minced
- • 2 cups spinach, loosely packed
- • ½ teaspoon cumin
- • 2 (8") whole wheat tortillas
- • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- • ¼ cup queso fresco, crumbled
- Heat the oil over medium high heat in a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add zucchini, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is browned and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl. Carefully wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
- Sprinkle half of the zucchini mixture, half of the Monterey Jack, and half of the queso fresco over half of one of the tortillas. Fold the other tortilla half over top and press to flatten. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Repeat to assemble the second quesadilla.
- Place both quesadillas in the skillet, oiled sides down. Cook over medium heat until crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the tops with oil. Flip the quesadillas and cook until the other side is crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer quesadillas to a cutting board. Let them cool for several minutes, and then slice them in half to serve.