It all started with these pretty spring onions.
And then it was the vibrant green asparagus standing tall in a shallow pool of water.
The cauliflower got me next.
I wasn’t sure all of these ingredients really belonged together, and I had no recipe in the works when I bought them. I did, however, have quesadillas on the brain.
But…asparagus and cauliflower in a quesadilla? Why not?
I truly had no idea what to expect, but I just went with it. The veggies were only lightly seasoned to let their natural flavors come through, but I knew they’d need a topping with a bit of a kick.
So while they roasted away I made salsa in 5 minutes.
Smoky salsa to be exact. And holy moly is it delicious. And, FIVE minutes.
After tossing the veggies for the second time I couldn’t help but think they needed a bit more substance. I contemplated beans. Black beans? Garbanzo? Leave as is?
I decided on garbanzo beans and gave them a light mash so they would better hold in the quesadilla but was still on the fence if this recipe was actually going to come together.
I knew it couldn’t be that bad with all of the fresh veggie goodness but would it be something you’d want to eat again + again? Upon taking that first bite would you think, “YESSS!!!!” ?
You probably know where this is going since you’re seeing the recipe but oh my worddid these exceed my expectations!
The perfect chewy, cheesy, veggie combination all highlighted by the smoky salsa.
This is my new go-to meal for spring.
Spring Vegetable Quesadillas with Quick Smoky Salsa
gluten-free // yields 4, 10-inch quesadillas
for the filling:
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 bunch asparagus, about 20 stalks – medium thickness
- 1 3/4 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 spring onions thinly sliced, white/purple bulb portion only – ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + black pepper
- 8, 10-inch tortillas
- finely grated sharp cheddar cheese, 8-10 ounces
for the salsa: medium-hot spice
- 2 spring onions roughly chopped, about 1/4 cup - white/purple bulb portion only – ends trimmed
- 1 1/2 medium cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1, 15oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, liquid drained
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, deseeded
- 1 roasted red pepper, deseeded
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pure cane sugar
Preheat your oven to 425* F.
Thinly slice the cauliflower florets about 1/8-inch thick. Snap ends off the asparagus then slice the stalks in half lengthwise. Place the cauliflower, asparagus, onion, oil, and spices on a large baking sheet and toss to coat. Spread in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes. Toss again then roast for 12-15 minutes. Lightly mash the chickpeas with a fork then toss them into the veggie mixture and roast another 4-7 minutes. Remove pan from the oven when veggies are golden brown.
While the veggies roast place the onions and garlic in a large food processor. Turn on until minced. Scrape the bowl and add the tomatoes, chipotle peppers, red pepper, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Pulse until ingredients are combined and peppers are evenly distributed throughout. Taste, and if desired pulse in 1/2 teaspoon more salt and sugar and/or another squeeze of lime. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge until ready to use.
Place a 12-inch pan or skillet over medium heat and lightly grease. Place a tortilla in the pan and sprinkle with an even coating of cheese [all the way to the edges]. Place a single [but dense] layer of the veggie mixture over top and another even layer of cheese. Place the tortilla on top and let cook until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Place the palm of your hand on the top tortilla and a large metal spatula under the bottom tortilla. Flip and place in the pan, cooking until golden brown.
Place cooked quesadilla on a cooling rack for 2-3 minutes [to firm] then chop into slices on a cutting board. Top with salsa, avocado, sour cream, peppers, etc.
notes: If you can’t find spring onions I would recommend using regular green onions/shallots instead. Use only the white part and you’ll need about 5-6 for the filling and 3-4 for the salsa. If you can’t find fire roasted tomatoes regular diced is fine but you’ll lose a bit of flavor. If your asparagus is very thick you’ll want to slice it lengthwise into quarters. I used these gluten-free tortillas.
So now you know the story of how the spring vegetable quesadillas came to be. So crazy, I know.
Happy new week!