When conceiving of this recipe, someone brought up the relevant point that quesadillas are often thought of as a snack; a quick dish packed full of cheese, possibly a protein, and hopefully some type of avocado side. For the most part, I'd have to agree. (Though massive ones served at chains like Chili's could hardly be considered a snack.)
But I'd also argue they can be a filling and nutritious dinner, especially when you're short on time. Take this version, for example. A tortilla filled with crab meat, avocado, tomatoes, and a sprinkling of cheese. On the side is a tomato and avocado salsa that's easy to whip up, mostly because you'll probably already have the ingredients on hand.
Make the salsa before the quesadillas, generously dousing it with lime juice to prevent the avocado from browning (the acid in the lime juice helps slow down the oxidation process). Then the rest of the dinner is easy peasy. I used flour tortillas, both whole wheat and white for this, but feel free to use corn or whatever else you prefer. If you feel like going all out, try cooked lobster instead of the crab.
Note: If you're feeling ambitious or confident, you can attempt two or four quesadillas at a time. Otherwise, one at a time is always safe.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 3 ripe Hass avocados, cut in small chunks, divided
- 1 pint Sun Gold or cherry tomatoes, halved, divided
- 2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced, divided
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice from 2 limes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 6 ounces picked crab meat
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions, light green parts only
- 4 (10-inch) corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Lime wedges, for serving
In a serving bowl, combine 2/3rds of avocado, 2/3rds of cherry tomatoes, 1/2 of serrano, cilantro, shallots, and lime juice. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Combine remaining avocado, tomato, serrano, cheese, crab meat, and scallions in a medium bowl and toss to mix. Divide mixture evenly between tortillas, covering half of each tortilla and leaving a 1/2-inch gap around the edge. Fold tortillas to close quesadillas.
Heat 1 of oil in 10-inch stainless steel skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add two folded tortillas to skillet and cook, shaking pan gently until first side is golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully fip tortillas with a flexible slotted spatula, sprinkle with salt, and cook on second side until golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to rest while you repeat with the remaining oil and quesadillas. Allow cooked quesadillas to rest 1 minute after cooking for cheese to melt. Cut into wedges and serve with avocado salsa.