There’s no denying the change of seasons any more. Autumn is here, and it’s the start of comfort food season! That usually means melted cheese. Quesadillas are a traditional Mexican dish that is basically a cheese toastie made with corn (or wheat flour) tortillas, heated in a dry pan rather than being fried in oil. This version adds refried beans, another Mexican staple, to make the dish into more of a meal. Beans are a great source of plant-based protein and fibre, and they’re cheap and a very sustainable ingredient, helping to save your pounds and the planet. Furthermore, like many low-cost folk recipes with many variations, quesadillas are a great vehicle for leftovers – you can add leftover roast sweet potato, fried mushrooms, shredded leftover roast meat… it won’t be a traditional quesadilla anymore, but it’ll be delicious. Here’s our base recipe, which makes a great quick autumn lunch or light dinner.
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
400g can of beans (black/red kidney/cannellini
2 tsp smoked paprika
8 flour tortillas
100g cheddar or comte, coarsely grated
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic for about four minutes until softened. Add the cumin and cook for one more minute. Tip in the beans, paprika and a splash of water. Using a fork, break the beans down as they warm through to make a rough paste. Season generously.
Spread the refried beans onto 4 of the tortillas and scatter over the cheese and coriander, then place another tortilla on the top of each like a sandwich.
Wipe the frying pan with kitchen paper and return to the heat, or heat a griddle pan. Cook each quesadilla for 1-2 minutes on each side until the tortillas are crisp and golden and the cheese is melting.
Serve warm, cut into wedges, with chopped spring onions and soured cream for dipping, and any extra beans on top.