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When fellow cooking teacher and cookbook author Robin Asbell asked me if I'd participate in the special online "potluck" release of her new book, Big Vegan, , I immediately said yes. I then got to choose a recipe from a well-prepared menu of items. I love winter squash so I chose the Squash Quesadillas with Cranberry-Jicama Salsa.
I've known Robin for a number of years and like her work. Here is my recap of preparing the recipe. Read all the way down as I will be giving away a copy of Big Vegan on November 2nd. (See details below.)
I rarely make quesadillas for a couple of reasons: first, there isn't any cheese-like product that I am willing to use regularly, even though I really like Daiya cheese (I call it vegan crack), and second, I generally avoid wheat tortillas and don't care much for the brown rice type. Luckily, for this dish, I found the Sonoma teff tortillas which are gluten-free and tasty.
The ingredients in this recipe sounded so captivating and inviting that I just had to make them. So, I gathered all the ingredients and set out to follow the recipe with the tortilla switch.
I baked the squash and toasted the hazelnuts in the morning so that they would be ready in the early evening when I was going to make the dish. This recipe obviously has 2 parts. I got the salsa together first and then cooked the shallot and combined it with the other ingredients including the chopped hazelnuts. Here it is spread onto the teff tortilla.
I put the other tortilla on top and then slid the whole deal out onto a plate and then flipped it over. Unlike traditional quesadillas where the cheese is the "glue", the tortillas don't have anything to adhere to.
Here is the final quesadilla before being cut.
And here it is cut up and with the beautiful cranberry salsa.
The whole quesadilla with salsa was mighty tasty and good-looking although I realized that my tortillas might have been larger than 8-inches so eating a whole one was a bit too much for me to consume at once. It is definitely a generous portion. Also, my tortillas come 6 to package which is an even better reason to make only 3 quesadillas and eat less.
Here is the recipe (reprinted with permission, Chronicle Books):