Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spanako-Quesadillas (Spinach Pie Quesadillas)

There are times when a quick lunch or dinner is a must but that doesn't necessarily mean takeout or fast food needs to creep into our diet. The other night, I was all tapped out and as the kids had enjoyed a heavier lunch I wanted to make a rather light and quick dinner. Knowing that I had some spinach and some flour tortillas on hand, I thought, "Why not make some spinach quesadillas?"

I wasn't originally thinking I'd go with a Greek flavor profile, but the container of Feta was calling out to me much more emphatically than the block of cheddar and so my quesadillas quickly became an easy (you might call it lazy) though extremely tasty version of Spanakopita (traditional Greek spinach pie).

I quickly sauteed some chopped onions, scallions, garlic and spinach then tossed in some chopped parsley and fresh mint that's still growing in the garden. An egg, some crumbled Feta, a skillet, some flour tortillas ... and voila, Spanako-Quesadillas.

Make these as a light lunch or dinner; accompanied by a salad it's really all you'll need. Better yet, serve these as appetizers or quick finger foods when you're getting ready for a casual get-together with friends. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Spanako-Quesadillas (Spinach Pie Quesadillas)
(Makes about 5 or 6 quesadillas)

Olive oil
3 scallions, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 cups fresh spinach or 1 small box frozen spinach
Small handful of parsley, finely chopped
A few mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 egg
Feta (add as much crumbled Feta as you like)
5 or 6 small to medium flour tortillas

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion, scallions and garlic until softened, about five minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted and heated through, about five minutes more. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, pepper, parsley and mint. Place mixture in bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in egg and feta and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet and heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the skillet and heat slightly. Add a few spoonfuls of the spinach mixture over HALF of the tortilla, then fold the empty half over the mixture and press down lightly. Cover the skillet and let cook for about five minutes; then uncover and turn your quesadilla carefully over. Cook a few minutes more. (Repeat with remaining tortillas and spinach mixture.)

Remove the quesadilla from the skillet, cut it in half or in thirds and serve warm.


NikiTheo said...

Omg, this is such a good idea for when I really really want some spanakopita, but don't want to do all the work! Which happens often, let me tell you. Once a year my mom and I will make pans and pans of spanakopita to put together and freeze so we can bake them when ever we want, but last Easter we kinda slacked a bit and bought frozen from the store. Very disappointing.

And we make quesadillas all the time, so this is simple!


Betty's Cuisine said...

μμμ...πολύ καλή ιδέα, ξεσήκωσες ακόμα και μένα που δηλώνω λάτρης της παραδοσιακής σπανακόπιτας!
το κρατώ στα υπ'όψιν για όταν υπάρχει έλλειψη χρόνου...
από τις φωτογραφίες πάντως φαίνεται λαχταριστό!

Anna A. said...

Nice, I love the fusion cooking!

Ivy said...

Great idea to make a spanakopita with quesadillas.

Shopaholic said...

This is a great idea, love everything with spinach! Gotta try your way one day too!
Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88

Frenchie said...

This sounds delicious, I adore spanikopita, but the phyllo always intimidates me. What a quick way to get the flavors without all the work and heartache.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Hola Maria, what an incredibly cool and healthy way to make quesadillas. I love it. Must try them. Thanks.

Dana Treat said...

What a great idea! I love those flavors but don't always have the energy to deal with phyllo. I'll have to try these.

theonikm said...

This is something my kids would love. My son picks off all the phyllo when I make spanakopita so, he will enjoy this version very much.

Quick, nutritious and delicious!

Joy said...

I agree! Such an easy wonderful way to enjoy those classic flavours!

Αγγελικη Ν said...

Καλημέρα Μαρία! Πολύ ωραία η ιδέα σου για quesadillas αντί για φύλλο! Ήθελα να σε ρωτήσω για τα Scallions, με τι μοιάζουν περισσότερο (θα χρειαστεί να τα αντικαταστήσω) με πράσα ή φρέσκο κρεμμυδάκι?
Οι φωτογραφίες σου είναι λαχταριστές!

Peter M said...

Maria, this a great idea when one wants a "quick-fix" of Spanakopita...noted!

Maria said...

Thank you all for your kind words!!

Aggeliki mou kalispera! Ta Scallions einai pragmati freska kremmudakia apla sta agglika mia ta leme Scallions mia Green Onions. Ta prasa onomazontai Leeks. Se euxaristw polu pou perases ;)

gastroanthropologist said...

Every once in a while I see something on a blog and think, "Duh, why didn't I think of that!" Love this. My sister is especially going to love this when I tell her about it - she LOVES spanikopita, but can't be bothered by tricky phyllo. Thank you for sharing...this will definitely be making the dinner menu sometime soon.

Joan Nova said...

this is a great idea...I hardly ever phyllo dough (too many calories) but spinach, feta and tortillas, yes! I can get a spanokopita fix without the trouble and calories. Thanks.

Peter G said...

Clever idea Maria! It definitely is a time saver using tortillas as a base instead of phyllo.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea, Maria! I love plasto, the spinach/greens with the cornmeal crust, so I would no doubt love the filling paired with a corn tortilla. Looks great!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i absolutely love this - any kind of spinach pie is tops on my list. and i love the way you just invented a word: spanakoquesadillas!

Johanna said...

What a great way to make spanakopita! I think one has to be inventive with quick dinners and not easily resort to take out.

Psychgrad said...

Really smart idea! I was thinking about spanikopita triangles today...this would be much faster.

cupcakes.gr said...

Brilliant idea! I make quesadilla's often but never thought to do this! I will soon!