At the end of a busy day without lunch, I arrived home tired and hungry. Because I am trying to eat local during the challenge, I did not want to pick up the phone to order delivery. After looking forlornly in the refrigerator for a few minutes, I realized I had enough local ingredients on hand to create a quick and satisfying ham and cheese quesadilla with grilled peach salsa. The sweetness of the peach salsa compliments and mutes the smokiness of the ham.
I started with a burrito-sized tortilla from local tortilla maker El Milagro. On one half of the tortilla I layered four or five thin slices of City Provisions smoked La Pryor Farms’ ham, followed by four slices of Brunkow jack cheese with morels and onions. I folded the tortilla in half over the ham and cheese and placed it on a hot griddle. I weighed it down with a cast iron weight designed for grilled sandwiches, but a heavy pan will do the job just as well. I turned the quesadilla when golden brown on one side and browned the other side. When the sandwich was brown on both sides I removed it from the griddle and sliced it into triangles. While grilling the quesadilla, I prepared a grilled peach and basil salsa using a luscious Flaming Fury peach, Italian basil from my back porch herb garden and diced green chili pepper. I sliced one skinned peach and placed it on the griddle for about two minutes each side. When lightly grilled on each side, I removed the fruit slices from the griddle, chopped them into quarter inch pieces and added about ¼ teaspoon of finely chopped green chilis and three or four leaves of chopped basil to create the salsa. Serve the quesadilla with the peach salsa on the side. (Note: To remove the fuzzy skin from peaches, place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water for five minutes, turn the fruit a couple of times so the entire piece of fruit comes into contact with the hot water. The skin will then come off easily with a sharp knife. )