Vino for Veggies

The food, wine & lifestyle blog for Vegans, Vegetarians, Pescitarians, and other Awesome People.

Sweet Potato Spinach Quesadillas June 13, 2010

This soul satisfying quesadilla sounds a little unusual but is oh so delicious.  Many moons ago, my girlfriends and I were walking through Whole Foods (a brand new store at the time) and they were offering samples of this quesadillas.  We have since put our own twist on it making it a staple in our homes.

Tip:  use fresh spinach.  While I am not against the frozen, it just doesn’t cut it in this recipe.

Sweet Potato Spinach Quesadillas

2 large sweet potatoes
1 large bunch fresh spinach (~ 4 cups)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
salt to taste
flour tortillas
cheese such as Monterey jack or cheddar (optional)

Peel, cube, and boil sweet potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender.  Meanwhile, in a large pan, saute garlic in olive oil until soft but not brown.  Add chili powder and  red chili flakes.  In batches, add spinach until the entire bunch is wilted.  Remove from heat.  Once the sweet potatoes are tender, drain and mash.  Add spinach-chili mixture to sweet potato mash.  Salt to taste.

To assemble quesadillas, lightly butter/oil pan on medium heat.  Lay whole tortilla flat in the pan.  Spread sweet potato-spinach mixture on half the tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.  Fold tortilla in half.  Brown tortilla on one side and then flip.  Once both sides are browned and cheese is melted, slip onto a plate, top with your favorite salsa, jalapenos, and sour cream.  Enjoy!

Wine Pairing from VanVino

We usually pair sweet potato spinach quesadillas with an Argentine Malbec or a Spanish Tempranillo (Rioja or Ribera del Duero).  Both of these wines tend to have softer, yet well structured, tannins as well as some nice oaky smokiness that goes well with the sweet potatoes.  In fact, we served appetizer portions of the quesadillas at our Argentine Malbec tasting party last March.  They were a big hit.

Recently we served the 2007 Viña Alicia Malbec Paso De Piedra with the quesadillas.  This wine had some serious structure.  I didn’t have time to decant the wine so I poured through a Vinturi in order to aerate it before drinking (this softens the tannins and opens the wine).  It had complex aromas of plums, dusty earth, tobacco, and a little iron.  On the palate, the wine  had flavors of plums upfront transitioning to licorice on the mid-palate and finishing with black pepper.  The Viña Alicia displayed solid, smooth tannins and wonderful food friendly acid all the way through.  I scored this wine a 92/100.

The Wine Stats

WineryViña Alicia

Type:  Malbec

Vintage:  2007

Appellation:  Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina

Retail Price: $18.99

Available Price: Under $18 (I know the average purchase price on Cellartracker is about $14.50)

Does this sound like a recipe and pairing you’d like to try?  When you do try it, what were your impressions?  What wines do you typically pair with Tex-Mex foods?