black bean butternut squash quesadillas + chipotle lime crema
Hidy-ho there, friends!
Pretend I didn’t just say that. Let’s start over.
I’m chatting it up with you from the land of corn, a.k.a. Iowa, where I’m currently hanging out with other blogger peeps in the cornfields (literally) and learning all about, well, um, corn. In case that wasn’t already clear. I’ll catch you up to speed on what, exactly, I’ve been doing here for the past couple of days soon, but today, we must focus on this glorious quesadilla.
I know the black bean-butternut squash combination in the ‘dilla is nothing new to the Interwebs, but it is to my face. And I’m kind of crying a bit because I hadn’t introduced it to my face sooner. The chipotle pepper in the crema might have a little something to do with that crying, too, as I am what one would call a “wuss” in the spice department. Orders mild every time ← that’s me.
But back to the ‘dilla. To me, a quesadilla with just cheese is sometimes just right (with extra cheese, please). But sometimes, it’s just so college-midnight-snackish. And in those times, I need black beans, taco-seasoned butternut squash, fresh lime juice, cilantro and boatloads of Monterey Jack cheese in my quesadilla. With chipotle lime crema on the side. MAMA.
I’m not kidding about that college midnight snack thing. I was a regular quesadilla monster then (think Cookie Monster, minus the cookies. OK I ate a lot of cookies, too) — not just for midnight snacks, but also for lunch and dinner and daytime snacks. That’s what happens when you have maybe a kitchenette and barely two pennies to rub together to your name and tortillas + cheese = affordable and filling. Plus those cookies.
That being said, I am still not sick of quesadillas, nor ever will I be (because cheese, obvi). But I’ve grown up a bit in the ways of quesadilla making and, ergo, I often need to add a little pizzazz. In this case, that pizzazz is a Tex-Mex/autumn vegetable fusion that is truly yummy — and highly adaptable, too! So if you like it spicy, go ahead and add an extra chipotle pepper to that crema. If you like more lime flavor, squeeze a little more juice in the butternut squash. Feel free to go crazy and add other types of cheese (I have a hunch goat cheese would make this quesadilla bonkers delicious) or toss in some shredded chicken. Or corn? YES TO CORN. Because that’s kind of what’s on my mind right now.
On that note, I’m off to join my friends again in the cornfields, but you better believe I’ll be secretly dreaming of plans of midnight snackery with this quesadilla.
For the chipotle lime crema:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 chipotle chile from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
For the quesadillas:
- 1/2 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 flour tortillas
- 1/4 cup canned (rinsed and drained) black beans
- 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- To make the chipotle lime crema: Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Adjust to taste, if needed (add more chipotle chiles, more garlic, maybe a dash of salt, etc.). Set aside to thicken up slightly.
- Meanwhile, make the quesadillas: In a small bowl, combine the butternut squash, cilantro, taco seasoning and lime juice. Adjust to taste, if needed.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Place one tortilla in the skillet; spread the butternut squash mixture on top. Top with the black beans, then sprinkle with the cheese (go ahead; you can add extra cheese if you want). Top with the second tortilla. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on one side until the bottom tortilla is golden brown and crispy. Carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side until the bottom tortilla is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted.
- Cut the quesadilla into wedges; serve with the crema on the side or spooned on top, along with extra cilantro and/or other toppings like salsa or diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos and guacamole.