Veggies and cheese are always a win-win combination for me! With all the fresh fruits and veggies on the farm, I hardly remember to include meat in my meals on these hot summer days. I honestly can’t decide what my favorite fresh-from-the-field summer treat is …. a cob of corn eaten raw in the field, a bite of a peach when it is still hot from the sun or a handful of cherry tomatoes popped into my mouth as a pick a pint from our high-tunnel greenhouse.
In celebration of the bountiful vegetable garden at Eckert’s, I decided to make this recipe for Fresh Picked Six-Veggie Quesadillas for lunch today. The combination of fresh veggies and a unique cheese place this quesadilla at the top my summer lunch list.
After chopping the veggies, this recipe comes together quickly because freshly harvested vegetables only take a few minutes to sauté to perfect doneness. Note: overcooking can turn freshly picked veggies mushy in a hurry. Instead they need just a few minutes of heat to soften them up a bit while maintaining the flavor and crunch that makes this dish so enjoyable.
I call for the veggies to be cut into specific sizes so that they cook in the same amount of time. I decided to use a unique cheese in this receipt called Brun-uusto. Brun-uusto, also known as “Bread Cheese,” is made by Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin. The expert Wisconsin cheesemakers at Brunkow have translated Brun-uusto into an authentic version of Juustalepia (Juusto), a specialty cheese with Finnish and Swedish roots.
At Eckert’s, we often serve this cheese warmed in a skillet during sampling sessions and in wine classes. In the skillet, the edges of the cheese melt and form a delicious crust much like the edges of crusty bread. If you are in a pinch and cannot find Brun-uusto, no worries, substitute another favorite such as Colby Jack or goat cheese.
If you are looking for a way to enjoy all the fresh picked flavors of summer, I invite you to give this recipe a try. You are sure to love it as much as me!!
Eat well this summer,
Fresh Picked Six-Veggie Quesadillas
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ cup sweet onions, finely chopped
2 unpeeled zucchinis, 6 – 7 inches long, thinly sliced into ¼-inch thick semi-rounds (about 2 ½ cups)
1 bell pepper, ¼-inch diced (about 2/3 cups)
About 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels,* 2 medium ears
½ cup Sun Gold or Red Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup ready-made or homemade basil pesto
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 (6-ounce) package baked “bread” cheese**, grated (about 2 cups)
Optional garnish: 2 Tbs. sour cream topped with ½ teaspoon of prepared basil pesto per quesadilla
Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, zucchini and bell pepper; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add corn and tomatoes and sauté another 1 to 2 minutes or until all veggies are crisp tender. Stir occasionally while sautéing. Add cooked beans if using. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of pesto thinly over each the four tortillas. Evenly divide the vegetables between the quesadillas and spread the veggies on half of the tortilla. Sprinkle veggies with about ½ cup grated cheese. Carefully fold over the tortilla (the side without the vegetables) to make a half circle.
Place filled quesadillas on baking pan. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is slightly melted, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Cut into each quesadillas into 3 pieces. Serve with sour cream and pesto. Serve while warm.
Makes 4 entrees or 12 appetizers.
* Nature Blessed frozen sweet white corn, defrosted can be substituted.
**Eckert’s carries Brunkow’sBaked “bread” Cheese in 3 flavors: Original, Jalapeno and Garlic.
Grated Monterey Jack, Cheddar cheese, or Colby Jack can be substituted if this cheese is not available.