My breakfast of pear pancakes was so cheering that I almost wrote about it. Then I recalled that it’s time for my second act: Lunch. Most of my lunches these days are solitary affairs. But don’t weep for me; I am in what will probably be a brief but lovely interlude in my life with darlings in full day school and a lack of conventional employment. And so I lunch by my (not-so) lonesome.
My husband and I once listened to an episode of This American Life in which someone admitted that for years they thought “quesadilla” was Spanish for “What’s the Deal?” That’s weird, I thought it was Spanish for “Serve me any time of day or night.”
This is a recipe for my friend Jessie who works hard all day and doesn’t particularly enjoy mucking about in the kitchen when yarn needs knitting and her cat needs petting. If she didn’t live all the way down there in San Francisco I would make it for her right now. (I would also make her Dates Stuffed with Cranberry Studded Goat Cheese [you don’t need a recipe for that, it’s right in the title] which is my culinary precoccupation this afternoon.)
It seems silly to offer up a recipe of such startling simplicity. But I find that certain meals, however elementary, don’t occur to me until someone shoves a plate under my nose. Thank you to my friend Katie for doing just that at her progressive dinner. How many of these sweet potato (it’s actually a yam but no one gets it right) black bean quesadillas did I eat that night? Several hearty triangles, and her house was only pitstop number one.
“What’s the Deal?” (for one)
Heat your tortilla (I like Tortilla Land uncooked ones that only take about 40 seconds per side). Place some black beans, (well-rinsed and drained) roasted sweet potatoes, (instructions to follow) and the salsa of your choice on one half of the tortilla. Fold over. Flip Gently. You may add parmesan or another type of cheese but it isn’t necessary. It does serve as a tasty glue to keep your quesa’s innards tucked together though. Serve up the perfect meal for one.
Roasted Yams (These are often labled as Sweet Potatoes in the grocery store. Look for deep-orange fleshed tubers.)
I make a generous pan of these so I can have the lefovers for several days. Cube up some yams. Toss with salt and a bit of oil (canola, grapeseed, rice bran) Place in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes – maybe more. I toss them partway through.
Alice Waters said that the perfect dessert is a single tangerine. I agree. But I had a persimmon instead. And though you can’t improve on nature, I admit I only ate this beauty for dessert because I didn’t have a cup of chocolate mousse.