Any fromage-loving human knows there’s something about melted cheese that’s simply irresistible. Oh, the bliss of relishing in those gooey synergistic creations like Mac ‘n Cheese – Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Cheese Fondue – Quesadillas. Clearly, part of the appeal of a quesadilla is that it takes mere minutes to concoct, and even less time to devour. I frequently (literally always) caramelize onions for meals I’m crafting, and as luck would have it there are random times when a bit of the aromatic, sweetly candied little delectables are left over. I love using up those caramelized goodies to transform a basic cheese quesadilla into a zesty, drool-worthy snack.
Caramelized Onion Quesadillas with Lime Créma
- 4 ounces sour cream
- The zest and juice from one lime
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 4 thin flour tortillas
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- An 8 ounce combination of shredded cheeses (I happen to believe that fontina and white cheddar are the yummiest)
- 4 Tablespoons Cilantro-Pistachio-Jalapeño Pesto (recipe follows)
- Fresh guacamole or avocado slices
- Grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish
- Lime wedges for garnish
For the Lime Crema, mix the juice and zest of one lime and the granulated garlic into 4 ounces of sour cream and stir to blend well. Set aside.
In a medium-sized skillet, caramelize onion slices in the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle a little kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper on them during the process. When they’re soft and … well … caramel colored, remove from the heat and set aside.
Thinly spread a tablespoon of pesto onto one side of each tortilla. Lightly coat the same skillet with cooking spray, set it over medium heat, and place a tortilla, pesto side up (duhh) in it. (Do NOT clean the skillet, cuz I’m here to tell you those crunchy bits of buttery onion are righteously delicious when they latch onto that crispy tortilla!). Layer on half of the cheese mixture, then sprinkle half of the onions over the cheese. Place a tortilla on top, pesto side down (duhh), and sauté for about another minute or so. Carefully flip the quesadilla and brown the other half of the tortilla for another 60-90 seconds. Remove to a warm plate, and repeat the process with the remaining tortillas. Slice the quesadillas into quarters and serve them accompanied with the lime crema, avocado, tomatos, and lime wedges. Deliciosos, mis amigos!
(Makes about 8 ounces)
- 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, rinsed, dried and removed from larger stems
- 2-3 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup pistachios (walnuts or almonds can also be used)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (I actually prefer asiago cheese because of it’s more robust flavor)
- 1/3 cup olive oil + more if needed
- dash of salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and chop/grind until well blended. If pesto seems too “dry”, drizzle a little more olive oil in until you achieve the desired consistency. Freeze any remaining pesto for later use. (NOTE: If using salted pistachios or nuts in your pesto, forego adding salt.)