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Quesadillas with Lentils + Sweet Potatoes

My obsession with the famous French lentil du Puy continues, starring most recently in this healthy-ish Tex-Mex quickie, les quesadillas. A speedy dinner, even though the lentils here are the fancy ones, so-called because of the region they come from in France, it’s pretty easy these days to find the small green French lentils, which are almost the same.


Smaller than most, these lentils do not turn into those muddy-tasting, amorphous brown ones when cooked; they retain their shape nicely and more than that, even, they’ve got a clean,  bright flavor. (Lentil pitch officially over.)


Like any other legume, it’s a good idea to make a large batch and freeze what you’re not going to eat right away, so they’re there when you need them, like at 6:30 on a weeknight, when you’re starving and have to run to the pet store for dog food, and you absolutely mean it this time when you say you will get up early the next morning and go to yoga — or maybe you’ll just see if you wake up without the alarm.


Quesadillas with Lentils + Sweet Potatoes

Makes 2 quesadillas



Put 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, put one of the flour tortillas in the pan and top with: 1 cup lentils, 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes, and half of the cheese. Put the other tortilla on top, pressing it down with a spatula. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bottom is brown; gently flip the quesadilla to the other side, cook until browned, another 1 minute or so and put on a cutting board. Repeat with the other tortillas. Slice and serve family-style with chopped avocado on top and salsa on the side.


*To make roasted sweet potatoes: Peel 2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes, and slice into 1-inch cubes, and toss on a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sea salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until light brown on both sides, turning once.