When I was growing up, a pineapple could hardly get in the door before being devoured by the more pineapple-mad members of my family. We never did anything fancy with it—just cut it up and ate it, juice dripping down our chins. It was a rare treat, and we reveled in it.
But when I decided on a whim to get a pineapple for myself this week, I discovered I am not up to the task alone. After dutifully eating pineapple with my lunch, pineapple with my salad, pineapple toted to school in Mason jars and eaten hastily between classes, it has finally dawned on me that I could actually do something with it. As in put it with other things. In a meal.
Alas, this brilliant insight came to me when I had only a few pieces left. So I had to come up with something that used only a few pieces of pineapple. Next time—and there will most definitely be a next time!—I shall try to remember a little earlier. There will be pineapple upside-down cake, pineapple rice, pineapple ice cream.
But for now, there is a pineapple black bean quesadilla, which is nothing to sniff at. Rather like lemon or lime juice, pineapple is a perfect partner for Mexican spices, and is even delicious with avocado and tomato.
Pineapple and Black Bean Quesadilla
- olive oil
- 1/4 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 C cooked black beans
- 1 tortilla
- several pieces of pineapple (about 2 T finely chopped)
- 1 oz. grated cheddar cheese
Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, then add the spices and salt and stir. Add the beans and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to allow the beans to heat up and the flavours to meld. Remove from the heat and roughly mash the bean mixture with a fork. Spread this over one half of a tortilla, top it with the chopped pineapple, and sprinkle on the cheese. Fold the empty half of the tortilla over onto the filled half.
Now you have choices as to how to cook your quesadilla. You can heat up a regular pan with a bit of oil and cook it in there, a few minutes to each side. You can cook it on a griddle, or (as I do) a cast iron crepe pan. You can even heat up the oven and just bake the quesadilla until the cheese has melted. Anyway you choose, it will take three or four minutes to a side to get properly brown.
Cut into wedges and serve with salsa and guacamole.