Summer Sides: Smokey Quesadillas

Tex-Mex food is perfect for summer, but sometimes it can get a little predictable. So why not mix things up a bit with some quesadillas boasting fun new fillings? They are great along south of the border standards, but also make great sides for everything from grilled favorites to the most amazing main dish summer salads. After all, when this is what's on your plate, it makes just about anything look great:

Creamy smoked gouda gets paired with caramelized onions and sprinkled with a little fresh thyme in these quesadillas that are crispy on the outside and oh-so-gooey on the inside:

You'll want to enjoy these quesadillas while they are hot, so you can assemble them in advance, but don't cook them until shortly before you are ready to serve your meal. That way, that amazing cheese will still be melted and delicious when you take a bite. I actually made a big Tex-Mex inspired main dish salad recently with all of our lovely CSA goodies and these quesadillas had just what I needed to make it a meal. Ah, glorious summer!

Caramelized Onion & Smoked Gouda Quesadillas

  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 small flour tortillas
  • 1 c. smoked gouda, grated
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (I used lemon thyme)

Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet. Add the onions and cook on med-low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring periodically, until they are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Spread half of the onions over one of the flour tortillas. Top with half of the cheese and half of the thyme leaves. Carefully place another tortilla over the fillings and press gently so that the tortillas gently hug the filling. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and the remaining ingredients.

Heat the skillet to medium-high heat. Gently place one quesadilla in the pan and cook for 2-3 minute until lightly browned. Flip and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the second quesadilla. Cut the quesadillas into slices and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 quesadillas
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Do you like the idea of a fun twist on good side dishes for summer? You're in luck! Keep your eyes open for a series of summer sides here now through August. You'll love the new ways to showcase the season's finest produce and the new ingredients mixed into the fun. 'Til next time, keep your summer fresh!