I relish cooking simple foods in the summertime. It’s hot, and no one wants to really use the oven or stove excessively, which just cranks up the heat in the kitchen, and therefore, cranks up our moods, too!
Thankfully, the best foods in the summertime, when eaten at the peak of freshness, hardly need much effort from us. They definitely need some washing (I’ve found caterpillars in fresh fennel!). Pairing with seasonally adjacent foods helps, and maybe a little bit of heat to coax out their sugars. Fresh herbs never hurt, either.
This quesadilla with sweet corn, zucchini, goat cheese, and basil brings the best of summer together with maximum flavor and and minimal effort.
What kind of corn to use?
In a perfect world, you would make these quesadillas with fresh corn right off the cob, which honest to goodness doesn’t even need to be cooked to be eaten—it’s usually just that sweet.
You’ll need to remove the kernels from the cob for this recipe, though. All you need to do is just hold the ear upright and slice down the length of the cob to remove the kernels. (Here’s a step by step guide that Elise wrote.) Toss them in a hot pan, warm them up, and you’ve got a roasty-toasty approach to summertime sweet corn.
If you don’t have corn on the cob, you can use frozen or canned corn really easily—you just want to make sure the kernels aren’t wet. They need to be fairly dry when they hit the pan, because you’re kind of pan roasting them. Take a couple of paper towels to the corn and blot the kernels dry before tossing them in the pan.
A Word About Zucchini Prep
I once walked around the farmers market with a chef friend of mine and saw the way he was selecting summer squash and zucchini: the smaller, the better. As soon I saw it, the lightbulbs went off!
They were about an inch or so in diameter, and they were short, perhaps no longer than 10 inches. They’re just so much easier to work with, and they’re less watery and more flavorful when they’re smaller. Because I’m using these small zucchini, I slice them in half lengthwise, and then in half again—essentially, quarters—and they are no bigger than a 1/2-inch at their widest. This size plays well with the sweet corn.
However, I know how zucchini like to roll in the summer. If you’ve got a garden and you can’t keep up, they get big, and they get that way fast. So if you have baseball-bat sized zucchini on your hands and you’ve already done things like make zucchini cake or bread, here’s what I’d do: Cut the zucchini lengthwise into long strip and then dice them as small as possible. This way they fit nicely into the pan with the corn, and they’re not so large that they’ll fall out of the quesadilla.
What herbs to use?
I love fresh basil with corn and scallions and goat cheese. Corn and basil are typically in season at the same time, and the sweetness of the corn just works against the sharp, sweet, and slightly minty taste you get from basil.
You could also substitute cilantro, but in the dead heat of summer where I live in Pennsylvania, cilantro does nothing but bolt, which makes the cilantro bitter.
If you were to make this dish in the winter and didn’t want to use basil, however, you could totally go for cilantro. There’s nothing wrong with that choice.
Why use goat cheese?
There’s something about warm weather that makes me pull out the goat cheese. It’s such a great counterpart to the natural sweetness of fresh veggies in the summertime. And it’s flavorful without being too heavy, as far as cheeses go. A little bit goes a long way.
The key, too, is to soften it ahead of time so that it spreads more easily when it’s time to go onto the tortilla. I typically take it out of the refrigerator, and I find that if the kitchen’s warm, the goat cheese is about ready to roll by the time I’ve got the corn off the cob and the veggies chopped.
But just as goat cheese isn’t your typical cheese, this isn’t your typical quesadilla—you’re not going to get an end result with ooey-gooey cheese. If you’re into that, we’ve got plenty of other quesadillas to choose from!
LOVE QUESADILLAS? HERE ARE MORE TO TRY!
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There are many upsides to following a vegan diet — plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fibre-rich nuts and legumes. But one major downside? No pizza.
I mean, seriously, finding a good vegan pizza is kind of like spotting a unicorn in the wild — it’s the stuff of legends! Luckily, these 20 vegan pizza recipes will satisfy even the most dedicated cheese-lover. Don’t believe me? Get ready to have your mind totally blown.
Vegan Green Goddess Pizza
Per serving (1 slice): 332 calories, 8.9 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 18.8 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 793 mg sodium, 7.9 g fibre, 13.5 g protein
READ MORE: A Must-Try Coconut Flour Crust Pizza
Skinny Mexican Avocado Pizza
Per serving: 171 calories, 4.1 g fat, 28.4 g carbs, 2.1 g sugar, 4.5 g fibre, 5.8 g protein
Per serving (1/2 pizza): 364 calories, 35.3g carbs, 6.6g fibre, 12.6g protein
Summer Red Curry Naan Pizza
Per pizza: 540 calories, 11.8 g fat (2 g saturated), 83.5 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 1178.5 mg sodium, 12.4 g fibre, 15 g protein
Best Homemade Vegan Pizza
Per serving (1 slice): 230 calories, 7.6 g fat, 35.8 g carbs, 3.3 g sugar, 6.7 g fibre, 9.7 g protein
Vegan Berbere Chickpea Pizza
Per serving: 438 calories, 9 g fat, 72 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 896 mg sodium, 13 g fibre, 17 g protein
BBQ Chickpea And Cauliflower Pizza
Per serving (1 slice): 495 calories, 16.1g fat (2.5g saturated), 78.9g carbs, 19.3g sugar, 1548mg sodium, 8.9g fibre, 13.3g protein
READ MORE: 6 Low-Carb Pizza Crusts That Will Help You Lose Weight
Lemon Herb Socca Pizza
Per serving (1/4 pizza): 279 calories, 16 g fat (4 g saturated), 18.8 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 391.5 mg sodium, 3.5 g fibre, 14 g protein
Flatbread Pizza With Hummus
Per serving: 405 calories, 7 g fat, 68 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 437 mg sodium, 9 g fibre, 15 g protein
Pizza Bites With Pesto
Per serving: 136.5 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 15 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 239 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 4 g protein
Roasted Garlic And Portobello Mushroom Vegan Pizza
Per serving (1/4 pizza): 237 calories, 6 g fat, 40 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 356 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 7 g protein
Sicilian Cauliflower Pizza
Per serving: 224 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated), 33g carbs, 16g sugar, 334mg sodium, 6g fibre, 9g protein
Spinach Artichoke Pizza
Per serving: 177 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated), 26g carbs, 1g sugar, 555mg sodium, 4g fibre, 7g protein
Stovetop Pizza With Avocado And Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Per serving: 911 calories, 28 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 149 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 1836 mg sodium, 17 g fibre, 22 g protein
Sweet Potato Pizza Bites
Per serving: 48 calories, 2 g fat, 6 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 109 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 1 g protein
READ MORE: Can Pizza Ever Be ‘Healthy’?
BBQ Chickpea Pizza
Per serving (1/4 pizza): 301 calories, 6 g fat, 51 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 417 mg sodium, 10 g fibre, 12 g protein
Thai Chickpea And Veggie Pizza
Per serving: 468 calories, 0 g fat, 14 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 57 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 2 g protein
Vegan Deep-Dish Pizza
Per serving: 341 calories, 3 g fat, 66 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 540 mg sodium, 85 g fibre, 11 g protein
Vegan Tortilla Vegetable Pizza
Per serving (1 pizza): 181 calories, 30g carbs, 5g fibre, 7g protein
Vegan Greek Pizza
Per serving: 470 calories, 19.2g fat (2.5g saturated), 66.1g carbs, 1.1g sugar, 1331mg sodium, 11g fibre, 14.7g protein
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
READ MORE ON: Nutrition Pizza Recipes Vegan
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