Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cook: Roasted Veggie and Cashew Goat Cheese Quesadilla



I've got a buddy who has been running a cashew farm for over a decade. During the time that he has run this farm he has been very good to me. At least twice a month I would receive a package in the mail that was stuffed with two pounds of cashews and one of his eccentric letters (which he calls "liner notes"). I used those cashews to make things like exotic vegan cheeses, meat free meatloaves and dips. Those liner notes? I read those to my daughter before she goes to bed. Never too early to start on the next generation of eccentric warriors.

This month the packages stopped. I picked up my phone and gave my friend a call to make sure he was okay. He picked up and immediately began apologizing for not sending me a package. Turns out he's in the process of "selling" the farm. By selling, I mean he plans on running a bit of an essay contest. The person who writes the best essay explaining why they would be a good person to run the cashew farm will get it, free of cost. 

With the last batch of cashews that I received from his farm I made a roasted veggie and cashew goat cheese quesadilla. Enjoy it. I've got an essay to write.

Roasted Veggie and Cashew Goat Cheese Quesadilla 

-1 eggplant, peeled and cut into tiny slices
-1 zucchini, cut into slices
-1 onion, diced
-1/4 cup green olives, diced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 Tbs. olive oil
-1/2 tsp. chili powder
-1/2 tsp. paprika
-8 small tortillas

1. Make the goat cheese according to directions.

2. Place the veggies and spices in a rectangular glass baking dish. Pour in the olive oil and stir until all the veggies have been covered by the spice mixture. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes (or until tender).

3. To make the quesadillas: lay out a tortilla. Spread the cashew goat cheese to cover the entire thing. Spoon enough veggies on top to cover the tortilla. Place a second tortilla overtop. On a griddle (or in a flat pan) cook the quesadilla until the tortilla is browned. Carefully flip it and repeat on the second side. Top with salsa and eat while writing an essay to a cashew farmer.

Pair the quesadilla with a lovely side of this.