Thinking back on the three stages of my culinary life, childhood, the university years, and now married life, there is one food that stands out as having been a constant, daily, staple: the quesadilla.
In childhood, quesadillas were a classic medienda (evening snack) with queso Oaxaca and salsa.
During my university years, the quesadilla was my “go to” meal. Living on a student’s budget, with a small tortilleria nearby selling 2 1/2 pounds of tortillas for the equivalent of 50 cents, I literally survived on them. My daily meal included a quesadilla with queso Oaxaca, salsa, a slice of avocado, and a little bit of lettuce.
Now as a mom, quesadillas are an almost daily feature that can turn up at breakfast, lunch, snack time, dinner, or medienda. It’s the one thing everyone can agree on and they are fast and simple to make.
This particular quesadilla recipe happened almost by accident at first, but now it is one of my family’s favorites. It might surprise you that I’m using queso fresco and cotija cheeses, but once you taste it, I know you will be a believer. We find corn tortillas work best with this recipe as the deep corn flavor complements the fragrant basil and savory cheeses perfectly.
I know you will enjoy them as much as we do.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried, and gently packed down a bit in the measuring cup
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 15 almonds
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/2 cup crumbled Cacique® Cotija cheese
- Salt to taste
- 1 package Cacique® Ranchero® Queso Fresco
- 12 corn tortillas
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Place the basil leaves in a food processor and mix for a few seconds to break them up. Add olive oil, almonds and garlic, and mix until blended. Finally, add the cotija cheese and blend until it forms a paste. Add salt to taste and set apart.
- Open the queso fresco package and cut it into 12 slices. Warm up the tortillas on a pan or comal, remove from the comal, add a slice of queso fresco, a spoonful of pesto and serve immediately.