Recipe by: Aparna Balasubramaniam

Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 6 Quesadillas, serves 6 (together with Summertime Salsa and Cumin-Lime Crema)


  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile, chopped
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking quesadillas
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely grated monterey jack cheese
  • 12 small (7-inch) flour tortillas


  • In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, until it’s evenly coated. Heat your largest heaviest frying pan over high heat until almost smoking, add cauliflower and jalapeno chile, and let it cook until each piece has a few black spots but is not mushy, turning and moving it frequently to ensure even cooking. This will take 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.
  • Mix filling: Put cauliflower and chile in a large bowl, add scallions, lime juice and salt to taste. You should have about 2 cups of cauliflower filling.
  • Assemble and cook quesadillas: Lay out 6 tortillas and spread 1/3 cup cauliflower filling and 1/3 cup shredded cheese to each. Place second 6 tortillas on top as lids. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, coat lightly with olive oil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook quesadillas until browned underneath, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully a flip and repeat on the second side. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.

Download PDF here: Mexican Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas