Quesadillas With Avocado Cucumber Salsa

July 7, 2010

I saw this recipe in the food section of the NY Times last week and have already made it twice, it’s that good. And if I had some of the ingredients left over, I’d make it again tonite. I also sent it to my dad who made it over the weekend and he concurs that it is one top notch summer recipe. And you can trust his judgement, he has impeccable taste.

The title of this recipe alone pretty much guarantees that your meal is going to be stellar. It’s tough to go wrong with avocados and cucumbers and cheese and whatever other secret ingredients you like to add to your quesadillas. And I always enjoy recipes that list the main ingredients in the title. Then with one glance you already know if you have at least the majority of stuff on hand. As you’ve probably noticed by now on this blog, I like when things are straightforward and to the point. Not a lot of riff raff. My photography style is the same way, as is my writing. I can’t help it, this is just the way I am.

Speaking of photography, I don’t have a picture of this dish for you. It probably would have been lovely too with dollops of the bright green salsa on top of little wedges of quesadillas all arranged nicely on a plate with perfect light coming through the window. But I have to tell you, sometimes a girl just wants to eat. I often struggle with feeling like I should include a picture with every post. I mean, I am a photographer who loves food and is usually of the mentality that a recipe is even better if there’s a picture beside it. But lately my views have changed a bit.

Take hot fish, for instance. It tastes so good but if I were to include a photo of a piece of fried fish slapped between two pieces of wonder bread with mustard and hot sauce on it sitting in a styrofoam container, it might take away from the simplicity of just reading about it, of using your imagination. I don’t know, I suppose either way would be fine. It is a balance I will probably always be trying to find within my work.

But let’s get back to the main reason we’re here: Quesadillas. In the original recipe they call for shredded chicken but I used shrimp instead. Yesterday all I had was black beans. Just use whatever you fancy and you can’t go wrong. Think of the quesadilla as a blank canvas whose purpose is to allow room for the salsa to shine. Like the crostini is for bruschetta. Or pasta is for sauce. Some mild cheese and meat, beans or shrimp are all you need for the filling.

And then the salsa comes into play. What a brilliant combination, avocado and cucumber. So fresh and crispy allowing space for the lime and its precious zest (my favorite!). I think it would also be good as an accompaniment to a light citrusy fish or as a dip for shrimp. Hmm, dinner this weekend anyone?

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. And maybe one day when I’m not as hungry when I’m making it, I’ll post a picture for you. But in the meantime, you’ll have to make do with your imagination.

Quesadillas With Avocado Cucumber Salsa

1 avocado, diced up into small pieces

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

A heaping tablespoon or so of chopped cilantro

Half a jalapeño finely minced

The zest of a lime

The juice of a lime

A pinch of salt

• Put your chosen meat and cheese between two corn tortillas and cook over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with as many as you’d like.

• Mix up all the salsa ingredients in a bowl.

• Cut the quesadillas into wedges and top with the salsa.

• Viola! Dinner is ready.

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