Why It Works
- Cured chorizo is fully cooked, so all it needs is a quick sear in a hot pan.
- The cool, crisp salsa balances the spicy sausage and gooey cheese.
- Radishes and fennel make an unusual but sophisticated salsa.
Crispy tortillas filled with spicy chorizo and gooey cheese, these quesadillas are balanced by the fresh, unusual flavor of a radish and fennel salsa. It's a sophisticated pairing that elevates a familiar comfort food.
- For the Salsa:
- 5 radishes, diced
- 1/2 fennel bulb, diced (plus some fronds, if you have them)
- 2 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup (20g) cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh juice from 1 lime
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Quesadillas:
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
- 8 ounces (225g) Spanish-style chorizo sausage (cured, not fresh), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- 2 cups mixed grated cheddar and pepper Jack cheeses (8 ounces; 225g), divided (see note)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
For the Salsa: In a medium bowl, toss together radishes, fennel (plus fronds, if using), scallions, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the Quesadillas: In a large cast iron skillet or on the flat side of a cast iron griddle, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add chorizo and cook until browned, turning once, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel–lined plate.
Set out 4 tortillas on a work surface and sprinkle approximately 1 ounce (28g) cheese over half of each tortilla. Scatter chorizo and scallions on top of cheese, then top with remaining cheese. Fold tortillas in half over filling to form a half-moon shape.
Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to skillet or griddle and heat over medium-high heat until lightly smoking.
Add quesadillas to skillet or griddle in a single layer, working in batches if necessary. Cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip quesadillas and cook until second side is crisp and cheese is fully melted, about 3 minutes. Add more oil as needed if working in batches. While cooking any remaining batches, keep finished quesadillas warm by arranging them on a baking sheet in a single layer and holding them in a 250°F oven.
Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with radish and fennel salsa.
To save time, you can use pre-shredded cheese.