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Zucchini Quesadilla with Spicy Salsa Roja

Adding fresh zucchini to a cheesy quesadilla livens it up a bit; the bold, spicy salsa that goes into the quesadilla as well as on top gives it an excellent punch.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 2

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  • 1 pound tomatoes, cored and quartered

  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 6 dried árbol chiles, stemmed

  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • Two 10-inch flour tortillas

  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • 2 small zucchinis, thinly sliced crosswise

  • Chopped cilantro and thinly sliced Fresno chiles, for garnish


  1. Preheat the broiler. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes and onion are softened and nicely charred.
  2. In a skillet, toast the árbol chiles over moderately low heat, stirring, until lightly charred, 3 minutes; transfer to a blender. Add the broiled tomatoes, onion and garlic along with the chipotle chile, vinegar and sugar and puree until smooth. Season the salsa roja with salt.
  3. In a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place one tortilla in the skillet and scatter the cheese and zucchini on top evenly. Drizzle over some of the salsa roja and top with the second tortilla. Cook over moderately high heat until crisp on the bottom, 3 minutes. Flip the quesadilla, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil, and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes. Slice the quesadilla into wedges, transfer to a plate, garnish with the cilantro and Fresno chiles and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Go for a simple tequila drink, such as a limey margarita, or a Paloma (made with grapefruit juice and soda).

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published March 2014

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