Spinach Quesadillas


by: Chef Cracks

I know people who are addicted to the spinach quesadillas served at Santa Fe's Ramblin’ Café, including me. They are packed full of spinach, with just enough cheese and chile to round out its flavor and hold it all together. In the spring I make a version using quelites, or wild spinach, a New Mexican wild green in the goosefoot family, which has a much greener, earthier taste. Both quelites and spinach are so filling that three wedges of a single quesadilla may well be enough. At lunch I drink iced tea, but for dinner I’d go for a rose, such as Ojai Vineyard’s Vin Gris. It would be refreshing, and it can stand up to the salsa served alongside.


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serves: 2-3

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 red or green jalapeno chile, seeded and diced

1 pinch (good) of dried Mexican oregano (or several pinches of epazote)

1/2 pound spinach leaves, without stems, washed (about 8 cups)

sea salt

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

4 whole wheat tortillas

1/3 cup grated Muenster cheese, Jack, or queso blanco

Salsa Cruda with Avocado

sour cream (optional)

Nutrition Facts
Spinach Quesadillas

Servings Per Recipe: 2

Amount per Serving

Calories: 371

  • Total Fat: 18.5 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 6.4 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 21.1 mg
  • Sodium: 613 mg
  • Total Carbs: 39.1 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 5.3 g
  •     Sugars: 3.7 g
  • Protein: 13.9 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Heat the oil in a wide skillet and add the onion, chile, and oregano. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes, then add the spinach. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and cook until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes longer, adding a little water to the pan if it dries out. Stir in the cilantro. Taste for salt. If the spinach seems excessively wet, pop it into a strainer and press the excess moisture out.

2.  Using 2 skillets, warm one tortilla in each, flipping them over so that both sides get hot. Scatter the cheese over the hot surface, then cover with spinach and a second tortilla. Cook over medium heat until the bottom tortillas are a little crisp, then flip the quesadillas over and cook the second side. Slide the finished quesadilla onto a cutting board, cut into quarters, and overlap them, 3 to 4 wedges on a plate. Serve with salsa and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Cooks' note:
Cook the greens, get your condiments together, such as guacamole or pico di gallo, then make your quesadillas.

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