Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Dinner; sometimes when it's time for crafting dinner, I'm still full of mental energy and ready to create! Other times, I just need something mindless, comforting and easy to throw together. I almost always have fresh sun-dried tomatoes, great northern white beans, lemons and herbs. Plus, tortilla shells make really easy wraps, tacos, and are key components of enchiladas so generally I have tortilla shells on hand. To me, this recipe's Sustainability Spotlight is the innate ability to not only throw it together quickly, but also ensuring I have limited food waste by using what I have already in my pantry and fridge to make a flavorful and simple meal. Can't get any better than that!
I highly recommend you take the extra few minutes to make the lemony-white bean spread, but if you want to make this recipe even easier (including clean up), you can just use pre-prepared hummus (garlic or roasted red pepper would work). The broccoli is roasted till crisp-tender while you make the quesadillas and is a side dish that really rounds out the meal. Though, it is optional and not technically required for the main components of the meal. This recipe makes two large quesadillas which easily serves our family (most of the time with leftovers).
2 heads of broccoli cut into large florets
1 tbsp avocado oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Lemony-Herb White Bean Spread:
1 can great northern white beans; drained & rinsed
1/2 lemon zested & juiced
4-6 garlic cloves (chopped)
3-4 tbsp avocado oil
salt & black pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp each)
1 handful basil leaves
1 small handful parsley leaves
(4) 10 inch flour tortillas
1 avocado (halved, sliced into strips; strips cut in half (you want them to lay "flat" in your quesadilla)
4-6 oz (to taste) sun-dried tomatoes in oil; julienne cut
water to thin (if needed)
Add broccoli to a silpat lined & lipped sheet pan (often called a jelly roll pan); drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Stir broccoli with your hands on pan until broccoli is coated and then spread evenly. Place pan in oven and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F - conservation tip - when you don't need the oven at a specific (high-heat) temp right away to sear or bake, adding the pan while the oven pre-heats can save total time / energy. Set your timer: 12-15 min or until crisp tender (a nice bright green with a little bit of glisten (sweating) is when you want to pull the broccoli; it will continue to cook a bit on the pan while cooling a bit). Finish with flaked salt (if desired).
After setting your broccoli to roast, add all lemony-herb white bean spread ingredients except herbs into a large food processor fitted with the blade attachment; blend until smooth (some texture is okay / desired). Now, add the herbs and pulse to chop & incorporate (you still want nice big bursts of herb flavor!). Set aside.
Pre-heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add some avocado oil (just to coat the pan); and place 1 tortilla shell in the bottom. Add a generous amount (1/2) of the lemony-herb bean spread to the tortilla shell, spreading with the back of a spoon within 1/2 inch of the edge of the shell. Next, top with 1/2 sun-dried tomatoes and 1/2 of the avocado. Place another shell on top and press lightly with your hand to "smoosh" the quesadilla together (but don't squeeze out your spread!).
Let the quesadilla cook for ~1-2 min after assembly above. Grab a large ceramic (not melamine or plastic or it will be too hot) plate and put on top of the pan. Place hand on plate and hold tightly - now, flip the pan (and quesadilla) onto the plate. Next, return pan to heat and add another small amount of avocado oil. Slide quesadilla (uncooked side down) back into pan and cook for ~1-2 min more until golden brown.
Slide quesadilla onto plate and cut into 4 or 6 pieces (like a pizza).
Repeat all steps above for second quesadilla.
Serve quesadillas with broccoli immediately
I hope you enjoy this quick, easy and flavorful recipe as much as we do! I'd love to hear how you like it and if it turned out for you!
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie