Recipe | Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas with Cilantro Pesto

Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas with Cilantro Pesto
How do you feel about cilantro? Because if you’re a cilantro hater, you may want to avert your eyes. (Or maybe run in terror?) These Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas have a generous helping of cilantro pesto on them. So you’ve been warned, okay?

Personally, I love cilantro. I never really got all passionate hatred directed towards this inoffensive little herb. I mean, I’m sure there are people who hate basil or oregano. But they don’t make a thing out of it. And cilantro hating is most definitely a thing. There’s even an I Hate Cilantro website.

Cilantro Pesto & Quesadilla Assembly
Well, apparently it’s a matter of genetics. Cilantro haters taste soap when they eat cilantro. It’s a genetic predisposition, something they’re born with. There are other explanations too, though–some of the molecules that form the aroma of cilantro are also molecules found in both lye (soap!) and insects. Interestingly, crushing cilantro leaves converts these molecules into other substances which makes them inoffensive to cilantro haters. So cilantro pesto? Should be totally cool with both cilantro haters and cilantro lovers alike.

Of course, if you hate cilantro with a passion, it might be too much to ask to even put you in the same room with fresh cilantro, let alone make it into a pesto. But this cilantro pesto is worth taking a chance on. Its bright, fresh (and spicy!) flavor takes an ordinary veggie quesadilla recipe and makes it something worth blogging about. In fact, I’m so in love with this pesto that it might be making some more appearances on Oh My Veggies very soon!

Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas with Cilantro Pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 quesadillas

Serving Size: 1 quesadilla

Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas with Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro pesto adds a fresh, spicy flavor to these easy veggie quesadillas.

Ingredients

    Cilantro Pesto
  • 1 c. cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and halved
  • salt to taste
  • Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 medium flour tortillas
  • 1 batch cilantro pesto
  • 1 1/2 c. Monterrey Jack or Mexican Blend cheese
  • salsa, sour cream, and lime wedges for serving

Instructions

    For Cilantro Pesto:
  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until mixture is well-combined and reaches a pesto-like consistency.
  2. For Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas:
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet at medium-high heat. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, 5-6 minutes or until softened but not mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spread half of each tortilla with pesto. Divide vegetables and cheese onto pesto-side of tortillas and fold in half.
  5. Wipe out skillet. Heat on medium and cook quesadillas, two at a time, about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and slightly crispy. (If you prefer, you can use a grill instead.) Cut each quesadilla in half and serve with salsa, sour cream, and lime wedges.
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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. Marcia says

    One aspect of cilantro-hating not mentioned yet has nothing to do with the taste but with the effects. Cilantro absolutely tears up my stomach and, unless the amount I’ve had is extremely minimal, that discomfort lasts for days. I read that about 1 in 10 people can’t tolerate it, whether for the taste or other issues it causes. All this being said, I have to say I simply don’t understand mushroom haters! And an aversion to avo? Oh, you poor thing! Those are two of my favorites! I guess the point is, when we entertain, we need to be mindful that not everyone loves what we love or can tolerate what we tolerate. P.S. Both Julia Child and Ina Garten are cilantro haters, so I’m in good company :-)

    • Kiersten Frase says

      That definitely does not sound pleasant! I’ll never understand mushroom haters either – it seems like people who hate cilantro and people who hate mushrooms are the most passionate about their hatred, although since I started blogging, I’ve discovered that there are also lots of people who really, really hate bananas.

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