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Beet + Monterey Jack Quesadillas

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

The humble quesadilla gets a surprise and gorgeous twist from thinly sliced beets. Don’t underestimate it! When melted and caramelized with stringy jack cheese and served with creamy avocado its more than the sum of its parts. Also, using the beet greens inside is truly cooking on brand from end to stem!


  • 1 bunch Beet
  • 1 bunch Beet Greens (from the bunch of beets, if they aren't attached sub a leafy green of your preference)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 Red Onion (very thinly sliced)
  • 3 Tablespoons White Vinegar (distilled white, or white wine vinegar is ok)
  • 14 can Water
  • 1 teaspoon White Sugar
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded)
  • 8 Flour Tortillass (8 inches, or whichever you prefer)
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 Avocado
  • 12 bunch Cilantro

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. BEET

    If you’re planning on making the Quinoa Bowls this week, reserve 1 cooked beet.

    Wash the beet skins well to remove any dirt and separate the greens and stems, set those aside for now. Slice beets in half and place in a medium pot. Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil and cover, reduce to medium and boil for about 15-20 minutes until you can easily pierce them with a knife.

    Remove the beets from the water and let them cool down a bit. When you can, place it in a towel or paper towel and using the texture as resistance, peel off the skin. It should slide off.

    Slice into thin slices.

  • 2. GREENS

    Meanwhile, wash the greens in a large bowl to let the dirt and sediment drop off. Lift out of the water and gently shake the excess off.

    Place greens on a cutting board and coarsely chop the leaves, then thinly slice the stems.

    Heat a large saute pan, your biggest, over medium heat. Add ½ tablespoon of butter and when melted, add the stems. Saute for about 1 minute, then add the greens. Add a pinch of salt (about half a teaspoon) and cook for just 2-3 minutes until the greens are evenly wilted. Remove to a dish and set aside for assembly. Wipe out the pan and return to the stove top until you’re ready.


    In a small sauce pan, combine the 3 Tablespoons white vinegar, ¼ cup of water to a boil, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Bring to a boil.

    Peel and cut a red onion in half. Slice it very very thinly, on a mandoline if you have one or just take care to do it evenly with a knife. Place the sliced onion in a small bowl or mason jar.

    When the vinegar mixture is boiling and the salt and sugar are dissolved, turn off the heat and carefully pour this over the sliced onions. Set in the fridge to cool. The pickled onions are ready to eat as soon as they’ve cooled down a bit but also will last in the fridge for a month. They’ll get more pickled as they sit.


    If not already shredded, grate the cheese on the large holes of a box grater.

    Chop the cilantro leaves and stems, use half of a bunch.


    Lay half of the tortillas* out on a work surface. Evenly spread out half of the cheese. Then layer on the sliced beets, the beet greens, and about half of the total cilantro. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover with the other tortillas to make 4 quesadillas.

    Heat the saute pan over high heat. Add ¼ of the canola oil and a dab of the butter, place the first quesadilla down and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Carefully flip and repeat. Cook for 3 minutes on the other side.

    When done, remove from the pan and repeat with more oil, butter, and another quesadilla. To make the process go faster, you can use 2 pans or if you have an electric griddle, this is a great use for that.

    *If you have very large tortillas (12”), you can just use 4 total and only put filling on half of the tortilla, then fold it over to make your quesadillas. If you have smaller tortillas, divide filling accordingly.

  • 6. PLATING

    To serve, slice the quesadillas into wedges. Sprinkled the remaining cilantro over the top. Serve with pickled onions and sliced avocado on the side.

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  • BEET:
    yes its the name of the dish, but if you don’t like them or have them another root veggies or summer squash would be great too. Try thinly sliced yams or zucchini
    a classic combination is potatoes and chorizo. Instead of the beet or in addition to it, add sauteed chorizo or soft italian sausage and cooked and thinly sliced potato
    some “cheese” texture is important, so we’d recommended a dairy free cheese here. An almond or cashew based cheese would work very well. And, saute in oil, not butter
    instead of MJ cheese, use fresh chevre! Beets and goat cheese are a classic and incredible combination
    use GF flour tortillas or use full corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are usually smaller in diameter, so you might need a few more batches but it otherwise cooks the same
    if yours didn’t come with greens, you can add sauteed chard, kale, or spinach. Or try fresh, uncooked arugula when forming the quesadillas, it will wilt a bit while cooking
    Topping this with a fried egg transforms it into breakfast or a more filling dinner
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