Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
So, you know that no-fish-and-cheese rule? The one that says not to mix fish and cheese? Well, it’s a thing. And sometimes I agree with it. I mean, fish is so fresh and light and…fishy. And from the sea. Well, from water. And cheese is heavy and creamy and rich, and from the land. From a cow. There are plenty of times where I would say absolutely no seafood and cheese together.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

But I mean, rules are made to be broken. Right? Right. Case in point: smoked salmon and cream cheese. Classic combo. And how about clams on pizza? I’ve had that plenty of times, and ps. it’s awesome. Also, the good old fashioned tuna melt…ammiright!? These reasons, and many more, are why I’m perfectly comfortable sharing shrimp quesadillas with you.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

Pesto shrimp quesadillas. Yep. Sweet little shrimpies, super herby homemade pesto, melty mozzarella, and salty crumbled cotija. Inside a crispy tortilla. If you ever doubted the shrimp + cheese combo, this will change your mind.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
Also, did you know that you can throw pretty much anything in pesto? It’s not just basil and pine nuts anymore, my friends.  Parsley? Yes, please. Pumpkin Seeds? Do it. Garlic scapes? Yessiree. Carrot tops? Yep, throw those green carrot tops in there! Chocolate cake? Ok, now maybe we’ve gone too far. But maybe… ok, maybe not.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas

Tortillas
Peeled and deveined shrimp, cooked
Fresh mozzarella, grated
Fresh cotija, crumbled
Parsley & carrot top pesto (recipe below)
Oil for cooking

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil, and place the tortilla in the skillet. Flip a few times until the tortilla is warm (but not crispy) on both sides. Spread a thick layer of pesto all over the inside of the tortilla, sprinkle mozzarella on one side, top with shrimp, and top with cotija. Fold tortilla over, and cook on both sides until tortilla is crispy and cheese is melty.

Parsley & Carrot Top Pesto
Adapted loosely from this recipe

A little variety gives the pesto a fresh, less over-bearing flavor. And using garlic scapes definitely mellows out the garlic taste. If you can’t get your hands on scapes, I would recommend just starting out with one clove of garlic, see how you like it. Then add more if you really have some vampires to scare off.

3/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, shelled and lightly toasted)
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 bunch)
2 cups carrot tops (from one large bunch of carrots)
4-5 large basil leaves
4-5 garlic scapes, chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to thin if necessary
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Blend pepitas in a food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Add more olive oil, salt, and pepper, as needed.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Pesto Shrimp Quesadillas
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