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I know a lot of people complain about how prolifically zucchini grows, and I might even make a joke about it every so often here on the blog, but honestly we do love it.
You still might want to lock your car doors if you stop by and leave your car in our driveway for very long, though. Zucchini have minds of their own, and have been know to form little squads that somehow make their way to the back seats of the unwary visitor. And this is the time of year when people leave their dogs tied on the front porch so that neighbors can’t sneak up with bags of extra squash.
Still – the fact that summer squash grows like crazy is a benefit, and one that causes me to be on constant search of new and interesting ways to use it. Coming up with a quick snack or an easy meal from fresh picked veggies is possibly the very best part of summertime.
And, honestly, we don’t ever get tired of well-grilled slabs of zucchini all on their own, but if you match them up with some sauteed onions, black beans, maybe a few radishes for extra crunch and then top it all with a generous handful of cheddar cheese? Sounds like Zucchini and Black Bean Quesadillas, and yes, I would like another!
These quesadillas are a whole meal in a handy, and portable package, with tons of flavor and they are even pretty good for you, without a whole lot of added fat. An awfully tasty option for Meatless Monday too if that is something that you are doing.
Plus they are very flexible – use the ingredients you have on hand, or that your family enjoys. I like corn tortillas for quesadillas, but use flour if that is what you like. And you can saute the zucchini slabs in a skillet if you don’t want to fire up the grill – or leave the grill on, and grill your quesadillas, instead of using a dry iron skillet as I have – use what you have and cook it the way that works best for you!
Zucchini and Black Bean Quesadillas
- 4 soft corn tortillas
- 1 medium zucchini
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- spicy rub of your choice
- 1/3 of a 15 ounce can black beans
- 1/2 medium red onion cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 3-4 medium radishes
- 2 ounces grated sharp cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro [optional]
- Condiments of your choice: salsa sour cream, olives, chopped avocado
- Preheat the grill or heavy saute pan.
- Slice the zucchini the long way into slabs. Brush each side lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle both sides generously with the spicy rub and season with salt and pepper. [if sauteing, skip the oil]
- Do the same with the onion slices.
- Put the beans in a mesh strainer and rinse well, shaking to get as much water off them as possible and set aside.
- Thinly slice the radishes.
- Grill the zucchini and onion, turning to ensure even cooking, until nicely browned, but still tender-crisp. [or saute in the pan in a small amount of oil]
- Cut the zucchini so that the slabs will fit on the tortillas, and cut each onion slice into quarters, separating the rings.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat.
- Lay out the tortillas and brush lightly with olive oil. Place two of them oil side down in the skillet.
- Sprinkle each tortilla in the skillet with a small amount of cheese.
- Layer on the zucchini, beans, onions, radishes, cilantro if desired, and end with another sprinkle of cheese. Don't pile on too much stuff, because it will just fall out the sides when you flip them.
- Top with the remaining tortillas, oil side up.
- Cook until the bottom side is getting crispy, about 3 or 4 minutes [it won't brown very much], and carefully flip each one over, using a wide metal spatula or turner. If any of the fillings come out, kind of shove them back in with the spatula. Cook on the second side for another 3 or 4 minutes, and move to a cutting board.
- Cut the quesadillas into quarters, and serve immediately with the condiments.
These are great with any number of options for dipping
Zucchini & Black Bean Bean Quesadillas would be a great after school snack, appetizer, or as a meal, which is our favorite way to enjoy them.