A tortilla is a round, flat bread that is made from cornmeal or flour. It forms the basis of a quesadilla where a filling is added (most traditionally cheese with the addition of meats and / or vegetables). The tortilla is then folded in half and toasted until the cheese has melted, transforming it into a quesadilla.
The perfect quesadilla is crispy and golden brown on the outside, without being overly hard. It creates a flawless contrast with this recipe’s softer and smoother fillings of sweet potato, black bean mash, and melted cheesy goodness.
The quesadilla ticks all the street food boxes: it’s quick to prepare, relatively easy to eat without cutlery, delicious, and light on the wallet. It’s why this dish is most popularly consumed in Mexico as an on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You will find long queues on many street corners as vendors fill tortillas to the brim with anything from refried beans and shredded chicken to vegetables and generous helpings of melted cheese.
The quesadilla takes on many forms. It is most popularly eaten as a street food in Mexico but you will find the dish in many home kitchens as well, either as part of a bigger meal or accompanied by more filling side dishes.
Arguably one of Mexico’s most popular dishes, the humble quesadilla dates to the Aztec empire where tortilla fillings were sweet and often enjoyed as desserts. Since then, fillings have greatly expanded, from cheese to meats and vegetables. Our version includes a black bean mash that is packed with protein and other nutritious goodies like antioxidants, fibre, and calcium.
Take your pick, this recipe is perfect for any time of the day. For a full meal, we recommend that you add a few sides to the table like the sweet potatoes and salad mix in this recipe. Other options include a tangy Mexican coleslaw, Mexican street corn (also known as elote) and a deliciously flavourful coriander lime rice that traditionally combines long grain white rice with garlic, lime juice and zest, coriander and jalapeños for an optional extra kick.
Cutting the finished quesadilla into strips then rolling them up into pinwheels and securing with a toothpick or longer wooden skewer is a fun and easy way to transform this recipe into a finger food. You can also create bite-sized, fully loaded snacks using small, short glasses. Using the glass, press down on the quesadilla to create the perfect size bite. Now start layering, alternating the portions of the quesadilla with toppings, making sure your final layer is a dollop of sour cream topped with a lime segment.
Many would argue that the toppings are as, if not more, important as the filling and perfectly fried tortilla. Lime wedges are a must, and a simple squeeze will add a fresh and zesty note to any quesadilla. Sour cream, a spicy tomato salsa and creamy guacamole are also classic sidekicks that you will see on most tables.