Cheese, glorious Cheese!

Cheese, glorious Cheese!

I always end up with a bunch of leftover parsley or cilantro and I’m never quite sure how to use it up. I saw this quesadilla recipe in my Phytopia Cookbook and thought the parsley spread was a clever way to prevent waste. Turns out that parsley is chock full of Vitamins A, C and Iron. And this recipe is versatile. You could make all kinds of parsley spreads using this basic recipe. Switch out the nuts, add some lemon juice, maybe throw in a few olives…just use your imagination and whatever you have laying around. I think a version of the paste would be excellent as a “sauce” for whole wheat pasta.

I renamed the recipe Jumping Pepita Quesadilla because:

  1. I’m a big dork
  2. The pumpkin seeds really do jump when you toast them, which I find entertaining

The Phytopia Cookbook is teh shizz. I’ve used mine heavily for many years and it’s all banged up and warped from spillage. All of the recipes I’ve tried are insanely healthy and delicious. Go buy it, you will love it.

Jumping Pepita Quesadillas

Adapted from The Phytopia Cookbook. You will need a food processor for this recipe.

Serves 4

For the spread:
1/3 cup raw unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds, found in the bulk section of Whole Foods or in the Mexican food section of larger grocery stores)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, rinsed and dried
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, rinsed and dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the ‘dilla:
1 medium tomato
8 whole-wheat flour tortillas
1 cup grated Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

  1. Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes. They will start to jump and pop. Giggle with glee. Stir the seeds to prevent burning.
  2. Mince jalapeno and garlic in a food processor. Careful, son. That’s raw garlic!
  3. Add the remaining spread ingredients and process until you have a paste.
  4. Finely dice the tomato. Assemble the ‘dilla by smearing 1/4 of the spread on a tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the tomato and about 1/4 cup of the cheese. Top with a second tortilla. Repeat for the remaining quesadillas.
  5. Place each quesadilla in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook on each side until toasted, a few minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
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I have a bonus feature for you. I calculated the nutritional value of each ‘dilla on Check out the numbers on this thing! Can you believe how nutritious a quesadilla can be? And this spread is yummy! If you are concerned about the fat and sodium, simply use low fat cheese and reduce the amount of salt in the spread.