Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chicken Quesadillas with Peach and Black Bean Salsa

Quesadillas are as flavorful as they are easy to prepare—and you can maximize the flavors both inside and out. Here, the filling is lean shredded chicken breast, bell pepper and onion, plus a little shredded cheese to melt in the middle. The topping is a fresh fruity salsa made with peaches, wholesome black beans, and a little jalapeno heat. It’s not only tasty and simple, but light and nutritious as well.

Quesadillas are typically made in one of two ways: The filling is spread on one half of a tortilla and the other half is folded over the filling (one serving), or one whole tortilla is spread with filling and a second tortilla is placed on top (two servings). I opted to use folded tortillas here because they fit nicely side by side in the grill pan.

Serves 4


For the Salsa
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • sea salt

For the Quesadillas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing grill pan
  • 2/3 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 4 9-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese blend (such as Monterrey jack, cheddar, and mozzarella)


For the Salsa
  1. Combine the black beans and next 6 ingredients (through lime juice) in a bowl and season with salt. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours).

Peach and Black Bean Salsa
For the Quesadillas
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat. Add the bell peppers, onion, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the cooked chicken to the pan and stir to combine until warm throughout, 2-3 minutes.

Bell Pepper Mixture
Chicken Added

  1. Lay 1 tortilla on a work surface and spread 1/4 of the chicken mixture down 1 half. Top the chicken mixture with 1/4 cup of cheese and fold the other side of the tortilla over the filling. Press gently to flatten. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese.
  2. Heat a grill pan (or large cast-iron skillet) over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Place 2 folded quesadillas in it side by side. Use a grill press or large, heavy spatula to press down the tortillas as they cook, 2-3 minutes on 1 side, until golden brown and grill marks appear.
  3. Turn and grill until the other sides are golden brown and the quesadillas are hot throughout, 1-2 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the other 2 quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 2 or 3 wedges each.

Quesadilla Filling

Ready to Grill

Beginning to Grill

--> Serve the quesadilla wedges on a large platter, passing peach and black bean salsa for spooning on top.

Chicken Quesadillas with Peach and Black Bean Salsa

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