Beets are an interesting vegetable, don’t you think? They’re deep red, taste like the earth (but not in a “I just put dirt in my mouth” way), and are actually quite versatile. Admittedly, I didn’t really embrace the beet up until recently. Thanks to the CSA program I’ve belonged to for the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to try both regular (red) and golden beets multiple times, and I’ve used them in a lot of different ways. Some of my favorites have been these beet burgers, as well as simply roasting them with some potatoes. I also gravitate towards beet salads when I’m dining out, but that’s mostly because they seem to always top the salad with goat cheese (one of my favorites).
So when I got beets as part of my very last CSA box of the season, I wanted to do something a little different with them. After looking around my refrigerator and pantry, I decided on beet quesadillas! It sounds weird, but it works. The combination of the earthy beets sautéed in spices, their chard-like leafy greens, and some melty cheese all folded into a tortilla was a perfect weeknight dinner. I would definitely recommend giving these a try. But be forewarned, you may experience some panic moments in the bathroom the next day!
– makes 6 quesadillas –
2 Tbsp oil
Bunch of beets (mine was 3 large beets) and their greens
1 medium onion
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp water
1.5 cups shredded cheese
6 burrito sized tortillas
1. Remove the beet greens, wash and roughly chop them; put them aside. Peel and chop the beets into small cubes. Dice the onion.
2. In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes until they start to become translucent. Add the cubed beets and continue to sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the spices and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the beets are soft.
3. Slowly add the chopped beet greens, being sure to stir them around to make sure they are coated in the oil remaining in the pan. As you’re doing this, add the 2 Tbsp of water to help deglaze the pan. Sauté until the beet greens are wilted.
4. Put the sautéd mix aside, and wipe the pan clean.
5. Spray the pan with cooking spray, and re-heat over medium heat.
6. Sprinkle a quarter cup of shredded cheese onto one side of the tortilla. Top with 2-4 tablespoons of the beet mixture. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the cheese and beet mixture.
7. Cook the tortilla for about 1-2 minutes, flip, and cook the other side for the same amount of time.*
8. Repeat with the remaining ingredients
*NOTE: In order to make sure my quesadillas stayed warm after I cooked them on the stovetop, I put them into the oven to stay warm (300 degrees for just a few minutes). This will of course depend on the number of quesadillas you are making, and how long the whole process will take.