A dinner that everyone at the table will love? It’s not a myth, it’s these portobello and avocado quesadillas from David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl’s Little Green Kitchen. They’re fast, convenient and utterly delicious—the ultimate family-friendly meal.
“These cheese-and-mushroom-packed little triangles are our way of doing fast food at home,” Frenkiel and Vindahl write. “Eaten with our hands, from a tray on the living-room rug in front of a movie, they are the essence of comfort. We fill them with sweet and sticky mushrooms, mashed avocado, cheese, beans and a layer of yogurt to lighten them up.” And don’t forget the green sauce. Tangy, spicy and sweet (not to mention a breeze to make), it’ll transform pretty much any dish into something special.
If your kids want to help (bless), have them mash the avocado and beans or chop the mushrooms (with supervision, of course). Since they’ll end up hidden inside the tortilla, they don’t need to look pretty.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Little Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, published by Hardie Grant Books, May 2019.
Magic Green Sauce
1 bunch mixed herbs, preferably flat-leaf parsley, cilantro and mint, thick stems removed
½ avocado, pit removed and flesh scooped out
8 to 12 pickled jalapeño slices, drained
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, peeled
½ cup (125ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
5 ounces (150g) portobello mushrooms—cleaned, sliced and stems chopped
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Sea salt, as needed
2 avocados, pits removed and flesh scooped out
½ can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 flour tortillas
1 lime, quartered
1 small bunch parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped (optional)
½ cup (3½ ounces or 100g) grated cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1. Make the Sauce: Roughly chop the herbs, then transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Add the avocado, jalapeño slices, capers, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, maple syrup and sea salt, and blend until your desired consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. The sauce will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
2. Make the Quesadillas: In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Sauté until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes on each side, then add the soy sauce, maple syrup and vinegar, and season with salt. Sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe the skillet clean.
3. In two small bowls, mash the avocado and beans separately with a fork and set aside. Heat the skillet over medium heat without any oil and add one tortilla. Spread a quarter of the mashed avocado evenly over it, then top with a quarter of the mashed beans and a quarter of the mushroom slices. Squeeze over some lime juice and scatter with parsley (if using) and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon of the yogurt onto another tortilla and place it on top, yogurt side down. Carefully flip the quesadilla and cook it on the other side until the cheese has melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer it to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make three more quesadillas.
Note: To give the quesadillas an adult upgrade, you can add pickled jalapeños or a good grind of black pepper to the filling.
Magic Green Sauce (per tablespoon)