Mushroom and Spinach Quesadillas with a Parmesan Crust
I keep tortillas in my fridge at all times because I can come home from a late night and then use whatever I have leftover for the filling for a late night snack. While these quesadillas don’t use traditional fillings or flavors, they are a great vegetarian option and no less delicious. Monterey Jack is a mellow-flavored, semi-hard cheese that melts well,making it the perfect cheese in these quesadillas. The slightly sweet, subtle cheese compliments the stronger flavors of the filling and gives you the cheese-pull of your dreams while the more salty Parmesan is added for a flavorful outer crust.
When cooking mushrooms it is important not to overcrowd the pan or else they won’t properly brown. When too many mushrooms are in the pan they will release a lot of water so they will need to cook over a higher temperature for longer so instead I opt to cook the mushrooms in batches. Wild mushrooms such as the shiitake and maitake mushrooms used in this recipe contain less water and are easier to sauté. Since there is a fair amount of oil and butter in the filling I opt to use a non-stick skillet to cook the quesadillas. That way it doesn’t stick to the pan but also doesn’t need any additional grease.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces assorted mushrooms (I use crimini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms), sliced and stems discarded
Kosher salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
4 medium flour tortillas
8 ounces shredded Monterey jack
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Greek yogurt, for serving
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and heat through then add 1 tablespoon of the butter and allow to melt. Working in batches as to not overcrowd the pan, add half of the mushrooms and sauté, seasoning with salt and pepper, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside then return the pan to heat and repeat with the remaining oil, butter and mushrooms.
Return all the mushrooms to the pan and add the garlic and spinach, cooking until the spinach has wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside in a medium bowl.
Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the tortilla to the pan and quickly flip it (this softens it for pliability). Spread ¼ cup of the Monterey Jack cheese onto one half of the tortilla and pile ¼ cup of the mushroom filling on top of that. Pull the bare half of the tortilla over the top like a taco and press down with the back of a plastic spatula, cooking until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the other side is golden brown and the cheese is melted, about an additional 2 minutes.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese directly onto the pan and add the quesadilla on top if it. Cook until the cheese has melted and turns pale brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve hot with Greek yogurt for dipping.
Serves 4 as an appetizer.