September 3, 2013

Swiss Chard and Chanterelle Quesadillas

I can’t believe summer is over.  I know it’s not technically over, but for me, it ends on Labor Day.  When I was in grade school, the bittersweet St. Catherine’s carnival marked the end of summer.  I remember the big creepy clown on the sign who looked as if he was saying “Here, have some fun before I kill summer.”  I always looked forward to a few rides on the Scrambler, a woosh down the large yellow slide and a sticky red candy apple, but I knew that composition books and pencil cases were only days away.  No amount of orange tickets could postpone the inevitable.  Of course, I was always excited to wear my first-day-of-school ensemble; an embroidered flower vest and some corduroy pants, or those coordinated puffy-painted sweatsuits I seemed to have an endless supply of (what’s up with that Mom?).

As an adult, I still feel that old back-to-school sinking feeling.  To pull myself out of it, I try to remember that Fall brings apple picking, upstate wine tastings (as bad as those can be), cabin trips, the dusting off of my dutch oven for slow cooked meats and the chance to wear my favorite cool-weather coats (the ones that our cat has been using as a scratching post for the past 3 months).  As summer winds down, I’m taking advantage of all the colorful warm-weather produce before the farmers’ market turns into a sea of onions and potatoes.  Here’s a killer quesadilla recipe to make you forget that soon, you’ll have your nose back in that Trapper Keeper.

Smoked gouda is the star of these quesadillas.  The smokey, meaty flavor of this cheese pairs well with the meatiness of the chanterelles.  The chard lends a nice color, especially if you use rainbow chard as I did.  Tomatillo salsa is highly acidic and will cut through the savoriness of the quesadilla and the creaminess of the homemade guacamole. 


Makes 2 quesadillas

To Make the Tomatillo Salsa:

1 large tomatillo, diced
Juice from 1/2 lime
Cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

To Make the Guacamole:

1 avocado, mashed (stick the pit in your guacamole to keep it from turning brown)
2 teaspoons finely diced onion
Cilantro, finely chopped
Juice from 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste

To Make the Quesadillas:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 heaping cup thin sliced chanterelle mushrooms (rub off any dirt, but don't wash them)
5 large leaves of swiss chard, ribs removed (save them), leaves sliced thin
5 swiss chard ribs, diced
Coarse salt, to taste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Smoked gouda cheese, shredded
Smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
4 corn tortillas (I used Hot Bread Kitchen brand)

1.  First, make the tomatillo salsa by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl and setting it aside. 

2.  Make the guacamole by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl and setting it aside.

3.  To make the quesadillas, add the olive oil to a medium sauté pan that has been heated over medium/low heat.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minute.  Immediately add the mushrooms, the chard ribs and a sprinkle of coarse salt.  Allow the mushrooms to brown slightly on both sides and the chard ribs to soften.  Add the chard leaves and cook until completely wilted.  Add in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and pepper and toss well.  Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a bowl.

4.  Wipe out the pan and place one corn tortilla in it over low heat.  Sprinkle as much gouda and cheddar as you want evenly over the tortilla.  Sprinkle some of the chard and mushroom sauté on top of the cheese.  Sprinkle with more cheese and top with another tortilla.  Once the cheese has melted enough to glue the tortillas to the filling, flip it over and heat the other side.  Transfer to a plate and immediately make the other quesadilla and then serve them both with the tomatillo salsa and guacamole.  Add some Cholula hot sauce for some heat!


  1. This sounds great Dorie! Tomatillos, limes, and avocados are all in season locally.. but I've never seen chantarelle mushrooms here. So far I've only roasted our tomatillos for salsa verde.. I'm going to make this... and with the abundance of kale outside I may just have to give your kale chips a go.
    much love

  2. Hi Cindy. Thanks for stopping by! I work with a company that delivers locally grown, seasonal produce so I get to take home a bunch of fresh vegetables for my blog. I'm sure any thinly sliced mushroom would be great in these quesadillas. The kale chips are an addictive snack. I hope you like both these recipes! Let me know your thoughts and suggestions:)