The typical quesadilla is glued together with cheese and sometimes fried. Not these, which are spread with refried beans and cooked in a dry skillet.
For the salsa, it is important for the parsley leaves to be very dry so the sauce is not diluted by water clinging to them.
Make Ahead: The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- For the salsa
- 2 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley, well dried (see headnote)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- For the quesadillas
- 1 1/2 cups (vegan) refried beans or bean dip
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions or spring onions (white and light-green parts)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Eight 6-inch whole-wheat or whole-meal (such as corn) tortillas
For the salsa: Mince the garlic and parsley in a mini food processor. Stop to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsified salsa. (At this point, the salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.)
Transfer the salsa to a bowl; stir in the olives, capers, corn and champagne vinegar; mix well.
Combine the refried beans, scallions or spring onions and cumin in a separate medium bowl.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Lay out 4 tortillas on a cutting board or work surface. Divide the bean mixture among them, spreading it on the tortillas. Top each with another tortilla, pressing gently to seal.
Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat for 30 seconds. Place one quesadilla in the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Flip it with a spatula; the tortilla should have toasty dark spots here and there. Cook the second side until it develops some toasted brown spots, then slide it onto the cutting board. Start the next quesadilla, then use a chef's knife or pizza cutter to cut the finished one into 6 equal wedges.
Transfer the wedges to a heat-safe plate and hold them in the warm oven. Repeat to finish the remaining quesadillas.
Serve immediately with the salsa, or cover the quesadillas with aluminum foil and hold for up to 1 hour in the oven.
Adapted from "Big Vegan," by Robin Asbell (Chronicle, 2011).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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