Grilled Ricotta Tomato Quesadillas

Grilled Ricotta Tomato Quesadillas
only recently, i’ve discovered a major secret. ground shattering. earth moving. show stopping. bing bang secret. you know, as a food blogger i’m pretty much addicted to good looking food. not limited to the good looks, of course, because the taste is just as important if not more important, sine qua non, so to speak. but as a food blogger, it goes without saying that i’m constantly seeking inspiration from other foodies, food bloggers and authorities of any kind in the food area when it comes to styling and prepping food. my inspiration comes from anywhere, really, be it online or offline, i don’t care. a lot of it, truth be told, comes from pinterest (i’m more than just a little addicted…).

and face it, for anyone who’s ever taken a “selfie” of his lunch to be shared on any social site from facebook to instagram – or who has indulged in others’ “foodporn”, so to say – must have crossed donna hay’s path. if you haven’t it can only mean you’re living in a rabbit’s hole – or that you aren’t really a foodie (cough-cough). anyway, she’s only the celebrity when it comes to food styling. has been for many years now, and probably will be for a couple more to come. i adore the ground she walks on pans she cooks in!
i love her style, her feeling for hassle free entertaining and her sense for flavors. all pretty daunting. but most of all i love her grill marks. they’re everywhere on donna hay food. it’s like her signature style. it’s what i wanted to achieve, just this once, for my dishes. just maybe for a tiny little piece of bread.
and i mean… let alone the taste that i assumed it would achieve, those grills marks… i’m not even talking about these. i’m clearly only obsessing about grill marks’ visual benefits, so far. ahem. clearly. because i haven’t told you that i’m already drooling, too, because that would be gross, kind of.[gap height=”20″]
[gap height=”20″]so i’ve always guessed those perfectly styled grill-marks on vegs, meats and breads were achieved with some high maintenance super grill-tattoo like piercers or something. something a normal person – let alone chef – certainly doesn’t feature. however extensive their kitchen equipment collection might be (and mine is pretty vast, as that). i thought those grill marks, i might just have to keep day-dreaming but forget about them in real (food blogger) life. because not possible.
then i found the griddler (and i lovingly call it “my griddler baby”, in a sotto voce taylor swifty kind of voice) by cuisinart. and my life has changed.
the griddler does anything for me. it grills my (oldish) bread on sunday mornings and gives it new crisp and life. it renders my meats (that occasionally do happen in my house) juicy and smokey in a jiffy. it softly burns (in all the right places and amounts) my vegs for a nice roasted look and taste, it melts cheese in sandwiches, it hugs randomly filled panini and quesadillas… in other, less poetic but more effective words: it’s a miracle.
so there it is, fresh off my kitchen to yours: the secret behind perfectly styled grilled marks. all you need, obvs (to anyone but me) is not a proper grill (as in bbq thing, fire, gas, etc…) but a griddler. so do yourself a favor and get one, or put it on your wish list. because men love it, too, so your better half will likely enjoy himself standing at the grill, even more than you. win-win, wouldn’t you say?
about those quesadillas. they’re donna hay inspired, too, shhh. i had to start somewhere. and the trick about them is: you can eat them for breakfast or as a snack or as a dinner. i like them anytime. they’re really light and such a nice surprise.[gap height=”20″]
grilled ricotta tomato quesadillas[gap height=”20″]
2 fajitas or other flat breads
1 cup ricotta
200 g spinach
1 tomato, sliced very thinly
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1 handful basil leaves, finely chopped
1 organic lemon, zest grated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and pepper
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pour boiling water over the spinach, leave to soak for a minute, then drain and pat dry. chop finely and put aside. mix the ricotta with the parmesan, basil, garlic and lemon zest. season with salt and pepper. add the chopped spinach to the ricotta mix. spread the ricotta mix onto the first fajita, leaving out a bit of the rim as it will spread when grilled, layer with tomatoes and top with the second fajita layer. grill in a griddler or panini maker from both sides for a couple of minutes, until the grill marks are exquisite and the cheese inside is melted. slice and enjoy hot.

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