I have a thing for “rainbow vegetables.” Actually, I’m quite fond of any kind of rainbow, since I adore colors. For the past couple of months, I’ve been buying these rainbow tomatoes, especially when I can’t find my true favorites, which are organically grown on the Big Island. That’s another story that I’ll tell, one other day.
Beautiful, rainbow tomatoes
We do this little thing every Sunday… it’s a little tradition. We call it “Martini Sunday,” because I have two of “those,” and Monty usually just has a beer… or two. Only two ever for me, because I can get stupid after that. So, I indulge in a little bit of gin every week, but mostly only on Sunday… and occasionally on holidays.
It’s been raining here all day, and I was wondering what I would make for pupus, and then, I realized that I had these beautiful little rainbow tomatoes that I purchased at the farmers’ market yesterday. We had one tortilla left over from a dinner about a week ago, so the thought came to make a simple quesadilla.
For the uninitiated, a quesadilla is a bit like a grilled cheese sandwich (it’s just not made on bread) with the tomatoes and stuff thrown on top. It’s a Mexican thing, and when you grow up in California, Mexican stuff never leaves your heart, (and soul!) so you crave it unto eternity.
Thankfully, it’s pretty easy, providing you can get things like tortillas. Tortillas are a simple flatbread, much like naan… (I’m seeing a lot of creativity coming out of this!) I’m not sure you if can get these in the UK, Australia or other places, but I’m gonna give this a go! Just so you know, a tortilla is sometimes made from flour, or at other times, cornmeal. A quesadilla is usually made from a softer, flour flatbread, rather than the harder corn tortilla.
If you want to play, all you’ll need is some tortillas and some good Mexican cheese. My friend Reynaldo, who is Mexican-Korean, insists that none of this is any good if you use yellow, American cheese… it must be white cheese, and it must be Mexican. ¡Olé! The garnishes that you throw over them are tomatoes chopped with onion, garlic, cilantro (or what is known as Chinese parsley, but any kind of parsley will do) jalapeño pepper, salt and pepper.
It’s easy-peasy, or I wouldn’t have done it today. Rainy days make me lazy, and I’ve been busy enough. Still, it will take some chopping, so get out the sharp knife and cutting board. Be careful of your fingers, too.
I make the pico de gallo (it’s like a salsa, but fresher) first. Chop about 1 cup of tomatoes, any kind, really, but get rid of the seeds. The skin still has fiber, so don’t feel guilty about throwing away the seeds. Place them into a bowl, preferably not metal. Halve and seed a jalapeño pepper and chop into a very fine dice… one half is good enough for me, though many will like more. Go for it! Chop about a tablespoon or two of onion, and add to the bowl. White onion is traditional, but purple onion is ‘rainbow!’ You know where I’m going! Press (or chop) a small clove of garlic, and add to the mix. Lastly, mince some cilantro (Chinese parsley, for some) to your personal heart’s content. If that’s not available, any other kind of parsley will give better flavor. Salt and pepper to taste, and blend with a spoon. The juices will come out, and that part is all good.
The quesadilla itself is very simple… simply heat up a frying pan with a spritz of good cooking spray over it, and place the tortilla in it. Grate about 2 oz. of cheese on top of it, then cover with another tortilla. Heat on low heat, and then flip for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, get a nice medium-sized avocado, peel and mash. Add some salt, pepper and limejuice to taste, and mash some more. This is the simplest and healthiest kind of guacamole there is, and I really prefer it to anything with much more added to it.
This is best on a warm day, but I must remind you that it’s not cold here… just gloomy and rainy. I hope I’m giving you something to look forward to… rainbow veggies can only bring us hope.
Happy Martini Sunday, everyone!