I find that whenever I am thinking of how to put a twist on a favourite dish I fall towards Indian flavours. Especially in the winter months I love adding some spicy warmth to a fresh dish or some fragrant additions such as garlic and chilli to perk up an every day recipe.
Quesadillas are a traditional Mexican dish made from two tortilla wraps layed on top of each other and filled with a variety of ingredients including refried beans, cheese, roasted vegetables etc and then pressed together and griddled on both sides to heat up the filling.
I found myself wanting to make a quesadilla but I had no mexican flavourings available so I decided that an Indian twist could be really fun! Instead of bean puree I made a curried lentil and cauliflower puree and then I simply had to use the pumpkin which has been sat in the fridge longingly waiting for me to cook it.
This is the sort of dish that would be great for when you are having a casual dinner party or you have the family all gathered around the table as, like most Mexican and Indian foods, you can put the wraps and all of the fillings out buffet style and let everyone build their own!
I love how these sorts of foods bring people together, plus it allows any fussy eaters to pick and choose…or it allows parents to hide food within the wraps for their fussy eaters!
I actually made waaay too much of the puree and roasted vegetables for me and Scott so for lunch the next day I simply wrapped it all up in a tortilla wrap ‘burrito style’ and heated it in the microwave at work for a really tasty and interesting lunch.
For the quesadillas I spread the puree onto both the top and bottom tortillas to help hold them together when frying, traditionally the cheese would do this job!
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Lentil puree –
100g Red Lentils uncooked
1 Cauliflower Head (plus leftover for filling)
2 tblspn Curry Paste (I used Korma)
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 Pumpkin (or 1 small)
2 Red Onions
8 Tortilla Wraps (gluten free if needed)
Olive Oil for roasting/ frying
Salt and Pepper
Cut the cauliflower into florets, peel and slice the pumpkin into thin slices, peel and chop the red onion into chunks and place them all on a large roasting tray. Drizzle with a little oil and salt and pepper and roast at 200c for 25 minutes until golden and slightly crispy.
Meanwhile boil the red lentils until cooked and then drain and put back into the sauce pan with the curry paste and crushed garlic. Stir over the heat for 1 minute then add half of the cauliflower and blend using a hand held blender until a smooth paste. Add a splash of water if desired but you don’t want it too runny!
Spread the bean puree onto all 8 tortilla wraps and then layer the roasted vegetable filling onto 4 of the wraps (the other 4 are now your “lid”). Wilt the spinach in the microwave by placing it in a bowl with a splash of water, cover and cook on high for 1 min, drain well and then layer the spinach on top of the roasted veg.
Sandwich the lids on top of the filling so you have encased the filling between two wraps and in a large frying pan cook the quesadillas one at a time for roughly 2 minutes on each side. I did this in a good non stick pan but you can use a griddle pan or add a little oil to stop them sticking.