Potato & Spinach Quesadillas with Sumac
Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Sometimes I just need junk food. Something buttery, cheesy, warm, and comforting. But I don't want to feel gross for the rest of the day over one moment of indulgence. These quesadillas are perfect for that terrible day at work, or the first day of your period. Maybe even after a breakup - I'm not advocating eating your feelings but if that's the choice you make, this recipe is here for you with open, comforting, safe arms.
While the name suggests this has a Mexican flavor, I used a spice called Sumac. It has a lemony flavor and comes from the fruit of a bush indigenous to the Middle East. The spice is widely used in Turkish and Arabic cuisines. I don't know why, but it is SO GOOD with potatoes.
I threw this together on a weeknight and it was a big hit with my husband and I (I didn't even try with the kids). And if you keep a well-stocked pantry, you will always have the ingredients to make it. I don't typically eat a lot of processed vegan food (i.e. cheese, butter, etc.) but the brands I have picked out below are the best, in my opinion, in terms of the quality of ingredients, taste, and melting texture.
1 1/2 lbs of gold potatoes, washed and quartered
1 cup of water
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp vegan butter (I use Mykonos Cultured Vegan Sea Salt Butter) (optional: sub for Extra Virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp ground sumac
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 shredded vegan cheese, plus more to taste (I like Mykonos Vegan Mozz) (optional)
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Tortillas (I like La Tortilla Factory Ivory Teff Wraps)
Place a steamer basket in your Instant Pot and pour 1 cup of water into the bottom, add the quartered potatoes, and move the release valve to sealed. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, using the quick release when display shows L00:00.*
Once pressure valve drops, open your instant pot and move the steamed potatoes to large bowl. Immediately add the spinach, garlic, and vegan butter. Cover with a lid or kitchen towel and allow the spinach to wilt. Wait about 5 minutes.
Once wilted, begin mashing the potatoes, adding the sumac, cumin, paprika, cayenne, sea salt, and 1/2 cup of shredded vegan cheese, if using. Once you have a chunky mashed potato, its time to make the quesadillas.
Head a dry, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Fill half of the tortilla with the potato and spinach filling, about 1/4 cup. On the other side, sprinkle some extra shredded vegan cheese and cover the pan, allowing the cheese to steam for about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and fold the cheese side over the potato side, so that its a half-moon shape. Cover again and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat to cool slightly before serving.
You can eat this with your favorite hot sauce, or my Zesty Zucchini Sauce, OR the Ode to the Surfrider Sauce (pictured)!
*If you don't have an instant pot, place a steamer basket in a large pot with a lid. Cover the bottom of the pot with an inch of water and place the potatoes in the steamer basket. Cover and cook on medium-high heat for 12-20 minutes, depending on how large the potato quarters are. When the potatoes easily slide off a fork, they are ready to go!