Tuesday, October 14, 2014

pumpkin quesadillas with black bean & sweet potato salsa

Let's talk pumpkin puree.

Most people don't think of adding savory spices to pumpkin puree . . . and let me tell you  . . . you're missing out if you don't try the savory side of pumpkin! 

If you've ever tasted the puree on its own, then you'd agree that it's very mild (kind of flavorless) with a thick texture . . . It's not really anything to write home about.

It's not until you add sugar, or savory spices, to it that it takes on whatever flavor you're trying to impart on it. 

After baking and cooking with it for several years now, I've come to the conclusion that pumpkin puree should be regarded more for the texture that it adds to baked goods and savory dishes. It adds a sort of body and texture that is quite delightful to the palate.

Have you ever added it to chili? It's quite delicious. It's adds another dimension of body and texture . . . as well as color. I'm making a big pot of pumpkin chili next weekend, so please stay tuned to the recipe in a few weeks. I hope you give it a try.

Ok, so on to THIS recipe . . . pumpkin quesadillas with black bean & sweet potato salsa!

It's so fast . . . so easy . . . unique . . . and delicious.

It begins with flavoring pumpkin puree with warm spices like cumin and chili powder. The mixture smells quite heavenly! And wait until you try it slathered on a tortilla and then heated on a skillet with cheese. My kids prefer sharp white cheddar, but if you're entertaining adult friends, then be sure and try the more sophisticated flavor of goat cheese (paired with roasted walnuts) . . . YUM!

The black bean and sweet potato salsa adds more dimension to this dish . . . the creamy black beans, sweet sweet potatoes, punch of garlicand zing from the lime zest sends your mouth into an "Ahhhhh, yum! What flavor it that? And that?"  

It's a seasonal dish that's fun to share with friends and family.

I hope you give it a try and check out the savory side of pumpkin!

pumpkin quesadilla
.     .     .     .     .     .
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
8 8-inch white flour or whole wheat tortillas
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled OR 4 ounces sharp white cheddar, shredded
½ cup walnuts, toasted *optional
¼ cup vegetable oil
fresh cilantro, chopped
.     .     .     .     .     .

In bowl, stir pumpkin, cumin, and chili powder; season. Spread over 4 tortillas.
Sprinkle with cheese and nuts.
Top with remaining tortillas.
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium-low.
Cook quesadillas 1 at a time, turning once and adding more oil in between batches, until browned, 3 minutes.
Cut into wedges. Enjoy!

black bean and sweet potato salsa
.     .     .     .     .     .
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 large clove garlic, mashed to a paste
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 1/2 Tablespoon fresh lime zest
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook for 1 minute.
Uncover and cook, stirring until the onion and sweet potatoes are tender and the water is evaporated, about 3 to 5 minutes. Keep warm.

In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, lime zest, juice and 2 Tablespoons of canola oil.
Add the sweet potatoes and onions, black beans, and cilantro and toss gently to combine.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve atop the pumpkin quesadillas.


  1. Oh what a wonderful flavor combination and so pretty too!

  2. This sounds wonderful! Very fun way to use pumpkin. I love fall foods! :)

  3. This looks so delicious! Pinning for later. Feel free to drop by and linkup your pretty & yummy posts sometime. Theresa @DearCreatives

  4. Oh my! I have to try this. It isn't hard at all to imagine how delicious these must be. Your photographs are gorgeous, by the way. ~ Nancy P.S. Following you on FB so I don't miss your pumpkin chili recipe.

  5. Anonymous7:20 PM

    This looks and sounds delicious!

  6. Anonymous11:34 AM

    These look so amazing! The salsa is the perfect topper. Yum!

  7. Anonymous6:12 AM

    This sounds like a great seasonal dish. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

  8. You are totally getting me where I live with your pumpkin recipes.

  9. This is an amazing post. thanks for sharing it at my last Fabulous Friday Party! love the quesadilla! Stop by this Friday for another party
    Thanks Maria


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