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Sweet Potato and Green Chili Quesadillas with Arugula

A perfect balance of flavors, this fresh dish combines sweet and spicy vegetables with crisp, cool arugula leaves. It’s a great way to use up any leftover sweet potato. Serve with a crisp white wine or Mexican beer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, about 1 lb. (500 g) total, peeled and cut into
     1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) plus 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas, about 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter
  • 3 cups (12 oz./375 g) shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 can (4 oz./125 g) roasted green chilies, drained
  • 1/3 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 oz. (125 g) baby arugula
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and spread out in a single layer. Roast, stirring once, until the potatoes are caramelized and very tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool, transfer to a bowl and, using a potato masher or a fork, mash slightly.

Place 4 tortillas on a work surface. Cover each tortilla with one-fourth of the sweet potatoes, cheese, green chilies and cilantro. Cover with the remaining 4 tortillas.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil. Fry each quesadilla, turning once and adding 1/2 tsp. more olive oil for each, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and cut into quarters.

Put the arugula in a bowl and drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serve the quesadillas topped with the arugula. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).