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Chicken Pesto Quesadillas

A Delicious Fusion of Flavors!

· Mexican Classics,Your Stories,Supper Stories,Frugal Meals

"We could learn a lot from the way food works together."

I'm leery of food trends. Primarily because I think far too many delicious things are cast aside after their time in the spotlight. Remember mango salsa? How about the great sweet potato craze? Maybe you're still riding the avocado toast train? I know I am.

One trend that emerged in the 2000's was the popularity of so-called "fusion food". I sort of systematically avoided participating in the trend, partially because of my fundamental disagreement with making any food fashionable, but also because sometimes I just cant wrap my head around how something could (or if it should) work together.

The trouble with my stance is this: Our home is an example of fusion food on the daily. I can't avoid it. I blend the classic American comfort food I grew up on with Mexican flavors constantly. I switch up traditional Mexican dishes with the flavors of my youth without even thinking about it, because that's just how we eat. I make biscuits and gravy loaded with Mexican hot sauce. I fry up chicken breasts and turn it into tacos. I take jumbo shells and make them smokey, spicy and stuffed with requeson cheese.

That said, I'm still reluctant to use the phrase "fusion food" in reference to anything I serve. Maybe it's the 90's in me. Avoid trends. Buck the system. Refuse to conform.

Such a rebel, this one.

Ultimately, I just wish that we could all work together as well as food cultures do. If only we could see how similar we all are, simply by looking at our plates. We're all just a few ingredients away from being the same, you know? We could learn a lot from the way food works together. If nothing else I ever say makes it through, let it be that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go eat a rice cake with peanut butter and listen to some Toad the Wet Sprocket.

Fusion on, Friends.

Chicken Pesto Quesadillas

(Serves 2)

Visual Tutorial on Youtube HERE.


1 jumbo flour tortilla (I used La Tapatia's Tomato Tortillas. Info HERE.)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded chicken breast

6 thin slices of roma tomato

1/4 cup, plus 2 TBSP pepita pesto (recipe below)

crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste

butter for griddling (optional)

For Pepita Pesto:

1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)

1 cup basil leaves

1 heaping tsp minced garlic

1/2 -1 cup oil (olive, avocado or sunflower preferred)

liberal pinch of salt

liberal pinch of crushed red pepper

black pepper to taste

In blender, combine pepitas, basil, garlic, 1/2 cup of oil, salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Blend, drizzling in oil until desired consistency is achieved. Set aside.

For Quesadilla:

Add 1/4 cup of the pesto to the shredded chicken, stirring to combine. Set aside.

Heat comal (or any skillet, really) over medium heat. Briefly heat each side of the tortilla to warm it. This will prevent the tortilla from cracking when you fold it.

Spoon 2 TBSP of pesto onto the tortilla, spreading over the entire surface.

Add cheese to half of the tortilla.

Top the cheese with the pesto chicken.

Add the tomatoes to the top of the chicken.

Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

Fold over, and heat until fully melted inside and toasted outside.

For an extra yummy touch, griddle on both sides in a little bit of butter until crisp.

Garnish with crushed red pepper and a few pepitas.

Cut into 4 slices and serve!


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