At heart, a quesadilla is pretty much a Mexican grilled cheese. Take a tortilla, stuff it with something savory, add some cheese, fold it in half and toast it. It’s also pretty delicious.
I love any dish that includes melted cheese, and it’s that much better when Mexican ingredients are added to the mix. But as much as I enjoy the standard recipe for this widely loved treat, I was pretty sure I could dream up a lighter version.
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Mushroom, Pepper and Onion Quesadillas
1 firm ripe avocado, diced
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped red or green bell pepper (or a mix)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cups assorted sliced mushrooms
1/2 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and ribs discarded, if desired)
2 oz. coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
Four 8-inch flour tortillas, preferably whole wheat
Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, toss the diced avocado with the lime juice and a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large, preferably cast-iron skillet over medium-high, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper and a pinch of salt, then saute until golden at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the skillet along with the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and saute until the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the onions and peppers. Add to it the jalapeno, cheese and a bit of salt and pepper. Mix well.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Coat it with cooking spray.
Set 2 of the tortillas flat on the counter. Divide the onion-pepper mixture between them, spreading it evenly over each. Press a second tortilla firmly over each.
Heat the skillet over medium. Add one quesadilla and toast until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the second quesadilla, placing it on the baking sheet when toasted. Bake for 5 minutes, or until just heated through. Cut each quesadilla into quarters, then divide between 4 serving plates. Top each serving with avocado, yogurt and cilantro. Serves 4.
— Sara Moulton