Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tomato and Mozzarella Quesadillas with Basil

If Heaven is a place where we sit around all day and eat fresh basil all day, then sign me up! I absolutely love this easy recipe. These little bites of deliciousness are something we make around here for a fast, easy, comfort food-y kind of meal. The ingredients are deceptively common, but don't be fooled. Something about the mozzarella and basil, mixed with pine nuts (provided there aren't allergies in your home), and a healthy dose of pepper (and a little salt) create an amazing flavor that is more than the sum of its parts. Fresh mozzarella obviously is best, but for some nights (like the other night), when I'm in a pinch, I just use the frozen mozzarella I keep in the freezer for just such occasions.I really think you can't over-do it on the basil, and I do think fresh, not dried, basil is key to the deliciousness. Just heat up the pan with a little spray or oil, throw a tortilla on, add some fixings, fold it over and then flip it, cook a little more, and serve! Mmmmm...just talking about it makes me hungry!

Are you kidding me? 5 stars, for sure.

Recipe below and here. Oh, and I know I make them a little differently than they do, but I like my way just a little better. =)

Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 15m Total Time: 20m

Tomato and Mozzarella Quesadillas with Basil

8 8-inch flour tortillas
12 ounces grated or sliced mozzarella
2 tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Heat grill to medium. Arrange 4 of the tortillas on a cutting board. Arrange the mozzarella and tomatoes on the tortillas, leaving a 1-inch border empty. Season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and top with the remaining tortillas.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the basil, pine nuts, oil, and the remaining salt; set aside.
  3. Cook the quesadillas around the perimeter of the grill until the cheese melts and the tortillas are crisp and golden, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Immediately cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve with the basil salad.

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