Roasted Corn, Tomato, Zucchini Quesadillas + a Shawlsmith London Giveaway!

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Guys, I think it’s officially late summer…some kids are even back in school, already! Does it seem early or am I just getting older (do not answer that)? Either way, we have a few precious weeks of long days and sunshine before the leaves begin to turn and we embrace the best season ever–autumn! I know not everyone is as excited as I am for the season to turn, but let’s celebrate these last summer weeks with lots of sunshine, maybe a few beach days, and some delicious summer bounty.

I made these quesadillas with some of my favorite summer produce — corn, zucchini, and tomatoes! Everyone gets a roast in the oven to bring out their sweetness, then it all gets piled on a tortilla with one of my favorite melting cheeses, Queso Chihuahua. I think of this cheese, named after the state in Mexico, like a buttery monterey jack. It’s totally delish and melts like a dream.

Oh, and see that blue table runner up there in those photos? That’s actually a scarf from Shawlsmith London! It’s soft and light…just the sort of scarf that’s perfect for breezier summer days, transitional seasons, and even as a table runner or impromptu picnic blanket. Shalwsmith kindly sent me two scarves, one to try out and one for YOU! Yay! So, to win the same scarf in Poppy Red, simply leave a comment using the form below and tell me how you plan to savor the fleeting days of summer. I will choose a random winner Monday, August 19th. Shawlsmith are also, graciously, offering a coupon code just for us just type HUNGRYGIRL20 at check-out. Hurray!
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* Full disclosure, Shawlsmith kindly provided both scarves, free of charge. However, as usual, all opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

Roasted Corn, Tomato, Zucchini Quesadillas

For medium-large, seedy zucchini, I like to slice around the core — I find it to be spongy and mushy when cooked. If you don’t have fresh corn, go ahead and use frozen kernels. You can find Queso Chihuahua in the specialty cheese section of well stocked supermarkets. Leftover vegetables are great in quick tacos or folded into an omelette. 

1 1/2 cups cubed zucchini

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup fresh corn kernels, sliced from about 2 cobbs

big pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 lime

4 ounces shredded Queso Chihuahua

Tortillas

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Toss the vegetables with 1 tablespoon canola oil, salt and spices,  spread onto the baking sheet. Roast in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables begin to caramelize. Remove from oven, squeeze lime juice over the vegetables and cool slightly before building quesadillas.

In a nonstick pan place a tortilla topped with some cheese and a few spoonfuls of roasted vegetables, followed by a little more cheese, fold. Cook quesadillas on each side a few minutes until browned, crisp, and cheese has melted. Serve immediately with hot sauce.

 

Vegetable Spring Rolls

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Guys, these are DANGER and I’m crushin’ hard.

I mean, they’re so savory, so crisp, so irresistible…I can’t stop thinking about them!

For that crisp, shattering exterior, I use the super-thin spring roll wrappers found in the freezer section of an Asian market. I’m a texture girl and those super thin edges are the money bits. For reals. Most of vegetables are quickly stir-fried to retain some texture in the finished roll…except for the mushrooms, which are cooked down to nutty perfection. Ginger, soy, and fish sauce make an appearance, as well. The dipping sauce is an easy mixture of sriracha, maple syrup, and a teeny bit of fish sauce. These would be perfect for the upcoming game-day, but you might want to make a double batch or more as, in my experience, I never seem to make enough when I share these spring rolls with anyone.

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Makes 2 dozen mini spring rolls. 

There is a great Asian market not far from where I live that stocks fresh/frozen/pantry items from all over Asia. It’s pretty much amazing. I urge you to seek out a market in your area if you haven’t already…there are so many fun ingredients to be found! I used a mini wrapper that they stock, but you could use the regular size. Just use 2-3 times more of the filling per roll. These wrappers are not the translucent rice ones, or the thicker, wonton-like ones. You are looking for the ones that are square and look like the thinnest of crepes. They come frozen, so just leave them in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight to defrost. While the wrappers can be delicate to peel apart, they do have some stretch. 

1 quart of oil (I used canola), for frying, plus 2 teaspoons

8 ounces (about 4 loosely packed cups) shredded cabbage

1 small carrot, peeled and julienned or grated coarsely

4 ounces cleaned mushrooms, stems and caps, diced

1/4 large onion, sliced thin

2 loosely packed cups spinach

1 Tablespoon grated, fresh ginger

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

24 mini spring roll wrappers (or 12 if using regular sized ones)

water for sealing

Dipping Sauce:

3 Tablespoons Sriracha

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon fish sauce, or to taste

In a small bowl whisk together the ginger, fish sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Set aside.

In a very hot wok or large skillet, stir fry the cabbage, carrots, onion, and spinach with 1 teaspoon of oil until the vegetables are just starting to soften and some of the edges start to brown. Scrape the vegetables into a bowl and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat with a pinch of salt to help release the liquid. Continue to cook the mushrooms until they turn golden brown. Scrape into the bowl with the vegetable mixture. Stir the ginger-soy mixture into the filling mixture to combine. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature before beginning the wrapping process. You can do this step the day before and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If the filling is wet after refrigerating, just drain the liquid so the spring rolls don’t become soggy. 

Whisk together the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Place a spring roll wrapper on a flat surface so that it looks like a diamond, keep the rest of the wrappers covered by a damp tea towel. Place about a tablespoon of filling  on the lower 1/3 of the wrapper, fold the bottom point over the filling and roll 2/3 of the way up. Fold in sides, wet the final point lightly with the water, seal, and place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

Heat 1 quart of oil (4 cups) in a high-sided pan (I like to use a wide saucepan with tallish sides), you will know it’s hot enough when you stick a skewer or chopstick into the oil and bubbles immediately form on the stick. Fry the spring rolls in batches until golden and crisp, anywhere from 3-4 minutes. Drain spring rolls on paper towels and serve hot and crisp with the dipping sauce.