This Tex-Mex classic gets reinvented with you guessed it, with leftover bits of pumpkin. A perfect Halloween-hued dish that is filling and delicious as a Halloween dinner to enjoy with the family. They are fun to make—everyone can get involved. Serve with added extras like sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce and sauerkraut.

Ingredients (makes 4 large quesadillas)

  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 300 grams pumpkin strings and flesh
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 250 millilitre veg stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½-1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 X 400 grams tins black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Smoked salt (optional)
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped
  •  ½ lime
  • 150 grams mature cheese (or vegan cheese), grated (optional)
  • 8 wholewheat flour tortillas

Method

  1. First start by making your caramelised onions. Heat a drizzle of olive oil into a frying pan, then add the finely sliced onions and a pinch of sea salt and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally to avoid the onions taking on too much colour.
  2. When the onions are soft and silky (this should take about 8 -10 minutes) add a splash of water and the maple syrup. Stir to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes. When the onions are done, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Next, add a bit more oil to the pan, before adding the pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt and 200ml of veg stock. Simmer on a medium heat until the pumpkin is soft. Allow the edges to catch a bit and caramelise. Transfer to a bowl and blend using a stick blender until smooth. Wipe down the frying pan and set it aside.
  4. While the pumpkin cooks, make the black beans. Cook the garlic and chilli in a bit of oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the beans, coriander, cumin and remaining stock. Simmer on a low heat until the beans go creamy and begin to break apart. Stir through a few pinches of smoked salt, chopped coriander and few squeezes of lime juice.
  5. Next, brush one side of the tortillas with butter or olive oil. Heat the frying pan and add the tortilla, oil side down. Layer on the pumpkin, beans, cheese and onions then add a scond tortilla on top, with the oil side facing up. Press to flatten, allow a few minutes for the bottom tortilla to crisp up and then flip, allowing the other side to cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked quesadilla to a plate or tray and repeat to cook the rest.
  6. Serve sliced with a selection of toppings as suggested above.

This recipe is by Natural Chef, food writer and stylist, Nena Foster.

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