Strawberry Leek Quesadillas
“Wait. You put what in a quesadilla?”
That’s what I said when I first heard about this idea from a friend and reader a few weeks ago.
I thought of a million reasons why this shouldn’t work. The strawberries will get mushy. The leeks will overpower everything. Oh. And the strawberries will get mushy!
But, shockingly, I was 100% wrong. (That was sarcasm by the way. I’m generally wrong about such things.)
Turns out that strawberries are one of those hidden quesadilla ingredients that just rocks. It’ll change your Tex-Mex world.
1) Slice strawberries thinly. Cut green stems off of leeks, slice in half longwise, and wash between layers. Then chop into half circles.
2) Add a drizzle of oil to a large skillet. Add leeks and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until they are soft and slightly browned. Season with salt.
3) Remove from pan. Add another drizzle of oil and a flour tortilla. Turn heat up to medium-high.
4) Layer in mozz cheese, leeks, strawberries, and goat cheese. Season with pepper. Add a top tortilla.
5) Cook for about 3-4 minutes a side until tortillas are very crispy and cheese melted.
6) When flipping, I like to slide my full quesadilla onto a plate, invert the plate using another plate, then slide it back in the pan.
7) When done, cut into sixths and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.
The Main Ingredients
You should be able to find some really nice strawberries and leeks these days in the stores or markets. Obviously, since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, each one is really important. So try to pick some good ones.
Leeks are kind of strange creatures. The important thing to remember is that they have lots of different layers, kind of like an onion, but unlike an onion, they will get all kinds of dirt in between their layers as they grow.
So you need to do some careful washing anytime you’re using them.
Just chop off most of the green stem (great for compost heaps) and then slice the leek in half. You should be able to peel back the layers and wash between them without too much trouble.
Cooking the Quesadilla
I actually made this quesadilla twice. The first time I tried to make it in the oven and it didn’t work out great. It took too long to crisp up the tortilla and the strawberries actually did get mushy.
You want to cook the entire thing in a big large skillet.
Start by adding a drizzle of oil to a skillet and add the leeks along with a pinch of salt.
After a few minutes on medium heat, the leeks should soften a bit and start to just turn brown.
Remove them from the pan, add another drizzle of oil and crank your heat up to medium-high.
Add the tortilla straight to the pan and start layering in your ingredients.
I did a layer of mozzarella, then the leeks, strawberries, and goat cheese. Season it really well with black pepper.
Add the other half to the quesadilla and cook it for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
When you’re flipping a full quesadilla like this, I like to slide it onto a plate, then invert the plate using another plate, which flips the quesadilla. Then slide it back into the pan.
If you try to do the air flip thing, it might work. Or it might ruin a really good quesadilla.
Once it’s ready, let it cool for a few seconds and then chop it up.
I was really happy with how it turned out. Nice and crispy on the outside with some delicious flavor on the inside.
In my opinion the cilantro is only optional if you absolutely hate cilantro.
So yea. Who knew? Strawberries in quesadillas are really good.
It’s quick to make, very delicious, and will totally impress your friends with your abilities to pair berries and melted cheese.
Is a strawberry pizza in the works? Maybe…