Goat Cheese Quesadillas With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa
These quesadillas make a simple and satisfying meatless meal with plenty of great flavor. Combining the goat cheese with the mildly flavored queso blanco provides just the right melting consistency, while retaining the full flavor of the goat cheese. The tomatillo-avocado salsa adds a hint of citrus flavor and a little bit of heat. Serve with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced (use red onion if possible)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/3 cups queso blanco, shredded (see recipe notes for substitutions)
- 2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 or 4 drops jalapeno pepper sauce (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 8-inch wheat tortillas
- For the salsa:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 medium tomatillos, husked, cored and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and continue cooking until the onion turns a light golden color, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a small dish and set aside.
In medium bowl, combine the shredded queso blanco, goat cheese, jalapeno sauce and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the chopped avocado with the lime juice and cilantro and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet and heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped jalapeno and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Add the tomatillos, water and salt and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, until the tomatillos have broken down to a sauce consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and allow to cool slightly, then add the avocado-cilantro mixture.
Lay out 4 of the tortillas and divide the goat cheese mixture between them, spreading it to about 1-inch from the edge of the tortilla.
Wipe out the skillet and heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the pan and top with another. Press gently with a large spatula to seal. Cook for about 2 minutes per side until the outsides are lightly browned and the cheese is completely melted. Cover and keep warm while you cook the rest of the tortillas.
Serve with the salsa. Makes 4 servings.
Queso Blanco is a white Mexican cheese with a mild flavor and superb melting characteristics. It can be found in the dairy case of many supermarkets, but if it's not available, a finely shredded, mild jack cheese can be substituted.