Hot take: Summer is not my favorite season. However! I do spend a significant part of the year daydreaming about tomatoes – the good tomatoes, the oh-yeah-we-live-in-the-garden-state tomatoes – because a really good tomato can make you forget that there is no parking in Asbury on a Saturday after 9am, that Seabright, well…you’ve seen it.
Anyway, I’m taking a break from making nourishing soups for new parents and focusing instead on the colorful harvest of August. If your meal resembles a rainbow, you’re doing it right. See below.
(P.S Local Summer is my favorite season, obviously.)
Rainbow Quesadillas with Homemade Salsa
From the Farmers Market:
2-3 Zucchini and/or Yellow Squash
1 small eggplant
2 sweet peppers
2-3 Large tomatoes
1 hot pepper
From the Grocery Store:
Salsa: Preheat the oven to 450°
Cut the tomatoes into large chunks and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cut the onion into half rounds and place on the sheet along with three unpeeled garlic cloves and the hot pepper. Spread evenly.
Put the sheet in the oven for about 7 minutes before flipping everything over. Place back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes. Take out and allow to cool slightly.
Put garlic and half the tomatoes in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the tomatoes and pulse several times to create texture.
Finely chop the onions and hot pepper and place in a bowl with the tomato mixture. Add 1 tbl salt and the juice of half a lime. Stir to combine.
**For a milder salsa, cut the hot pepper length wise and scrape out the seeds before placing into the bowl.
Quesadilla: (Makes about 4)
Cut the peppers, onion, squash, and eggplant into bite size chunks, about 1 inch long.
Place all vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, about 1 tbl. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Using a large spoon, toss the vegetables to evenly coat. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes.
Push the vegetables tightly onto skewers or spread evenly on a grill mat and cook on the grill at medium heat, turning them about every 8 minutes until they are soft and lightly charred. Remove from the grill and put back in the large bowl.
Place tortillas on the grill and add shredded cheese, if using. Add a colorful mix of the vegetables to one side of the tortilla. Once cheese melts and tortilla is toasty, flip the empty half over onto the vegetables. Press down slightly before removing from the grill.
Allow to sit for a minute or two before cutting and serving.
Jodi Rae is a Certified Birth Doula and Postpartum Chef. She provides individualized support and evidence-based information for growing families in NJ and Philadelphia. Check out more about her services here!