Recipe – Quesadillas with Salsa Verde


I love recipes that are so simple they’re hardly a recipe at all – where great produce and flavours shine and I don’t have to do too much. That’s what these simple fried cheese sandwiches are all about, especially served with this vibrant green sauce (which keeps for a week in the fridge and is delicious on just about everything, especially eggs). In Mexico they’d be cooked on a traditional clay or cast-iron comal, but you can use a frying pan or char-grill pan. They make a delicious breakfast, entrée or snack at any time of day … and I love them with a glass of Sardinian vermentino, like the Ràfia from Cantina Santa Maria la Palma. Oaxaca cheese, a firmer cousin to Italian mozzarella, can be hard to come by in Australia, thankfully stretched-curd specialists Vannella make a great version.

Serves 6 as an entrée

Ingredients
  • 230g Oaxaca cheese
  • 12 x 16cm wheat tortillas
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing
  • Pico di Gallo, for serving

Salsa Verde

  • 1 cup coriander leaves and stems
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves and stems
  • 1 jalapeño chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt flakes
  • 200g drained canned tomatillos (or fresh when available)
Method
  1. Preheat a heavy-based char-grill pan over medium heat.
  2. Cut cheese into thin slices, then shred with your fingers into strips.
  3. Lightly grease 6 tortillas with oil and place on a chopping board oiled side up.
  4. Place another tortilla on top and rub them gently together, to oil the base of the second tortilla.
  5. Distribute cheese evenly over the top tortillas.
  6. Place cheese-topped tortilla in char-grill pan, oiled side down, top with the second tortilla, oiled side up, press down gently with a spatula.
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes until well-coloured.
  8. Turn and cook the other side for a further 2-3 minutes, until well-coloured.
  9. Remove from pan, cut into quarters and serve with Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde.

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