Sunday, May 18, 2014

Recipe of the Month: Black Bean and Asparagus Quesadillas

Our little asparagus patch (the existing plants, not the new one we've put in next to our rhubarb) continues to produce at a respectable rate. Last Sunday, we harvested three good-sized spears (including one very odd one that had sort of grown into a dogleg shape, shooting out horizontally and then vertically again. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture.) This wasn't enough to make a full batch of any of our usual asparagus-based recipes, so Brian had the idea to cut the asparagus into little pieces and add them to some black bean quesadillas.

The process was pretty straightforward. He started with his usual step of sautéing some onions and garlic, then he threw in the asparagus pieces for a minute, and then he added the pureed black beans, along with some leftover rice to help soak up excess moisture. This mixture got spread onto the tortillas and topped with cheese, and then the complete structure was pan-grilled on both sides until it was nice and brown. We topped it with the Fresh Tomato Salsa from The Clueless Vegetarian, only made with canned tomatoes since that was what we had available.

The result was tasty enough, but I didn't really feel like it showed the asparagus to its best advantage. It sort of blended in with all the other flavors, especially with the salsa on top. Of course, there's nothing wrong with having veggies play a supporting role in the meal, but asparagus is such a precious commodity—so short in its growing season, and so expensive out of it—that it seems like a waste to put it in any dish where it isn't the star performer, or at least a key player in an ensemble cast.

So on the whole, I doubt we'll be making this particular dish again—unless we happen to be left with three odd asparagus spears at the end of the growing season and nothing else to do with them. Still, it's nice to know that our quesadilla recipe stands up to this kind of off-the-cuff alteration.
Post a Comment