Gourmet Quesadillas

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Years ago our family received a quesadilla maker as a gift.  For the longest time my brothers and I lived off of plain cheese quesadillas.  Now that we are older, however, we have gotten more creative coming up with gourmet quesadillas (if there is such a thing). We have tried everything from breakfast quesadillas with black beans and scrambled eggs to barbecue chicken ranch.  Often, we use our leftovers from dinner to make next-day lunch quesadillas.

I wish I could take credit for this quesadilla with sweet potato, goat cheese and spinach, but it was inspired by one of my favorite dishes at the Apollo Grill.  At the Apollo Grill, they make an incredible roasted vegetable (eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini) quesadilla with spinach, goat cheese and salsa verde.  I attempted to make this at home one day using leftover sweet potato, spinach and goat cheese.  While it was different from the Apollo Grill’s, I loved the combination of sweet and tangy from the sweet potato and goat cheese. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have a quesadilla maker.  Ours has seen better days anyway so I decided to make these in a skillet.  You can also bake them in the oven.  If you are looking for a new summer lunch, appetizer, or dinner idea these quesadillas are great  option.

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Sweet Potato, Spinach and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Yields 8 servings (one tortilla folded over per quesadilla)

Ingredients

8 large flour or whole-wheat tortillas

8 oz. of ricotta cheese

16 oz. bag of spinach

2 medium sweet potatoes

8 oz. of goat cheese (crumbled)

4 Tablespoons of olive oil

Salt, pepper and cayenne

2 Tablespoons of olive oil or non-stick cooking spray

*Guacamole and salsa on the side.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400º.

Wash, then dice your sweet potatoes into thin discs.  Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.  Spread the diced sweet potatoes in one layer over the cookie sheet. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Take them out of the oven and set aside.

In the meantime wash your spinach.  Heat up a pan with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Then, cook down all of your spinach with olive oil.  Once the spinach is cooked, drain any excess liquid. Set aside.

Prepare an assemble line of ingredients: tortillas, ricotta, sweet potato, spinach and goat cheese.  This will make it more efficient.  Spread onto the base of a tortilla one fourth of the ricotta cheese. Then on top of the ricotta, layer one forth of the cooked spinach, one forth of the roasted sweet potatoes and one forth of the crumbled goat cheese. Season with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and cayenne. Fold the tortilla in half.

Heat up a medium sized skillet and either spray with non-stick cooking spray or coat the pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Place the folded tortilla in half and cover the skillet with a lid.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat until browned. Then, flip and cook the other side until brown and crisp, when the goat cheese has melted.

Allow the quesadillas to cool for a couple of minutes.  This will make them much easier to cut because it allows the cheese to set. Don’t worry: they will still be warm when you cut into them.

Serve these quesadillas along with your favorite salsa and guacamole.

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