Back when I was living in Budapest, there was this amazing Greek restaurant that I loved to go to. It was right on Danube and had a wonderful patio during the summer and was nice and cozy in the winter. At the time I was also a pescatarian and trust me when I say it can be a challenge to find tasty vegetarian options in a land full of szalámi and gulyásleves. (I never quite understood where fish in a landlocked country came from, so I either didn’t question it or steered clear completely.) Between good veggie dishes and an excellent wine list, it was one of my favorite places in Bp.
I have really had a hankering for Greek food recently. Unfortunately nearly every dish I could think of involved pita or phyllo… While attempting to make gluten-free phyllo dough sounds like a wonderful challenge, unfortunately I just don’t have the time or patience to attempt it. Being the resourceful type that I am, I took a look around the kitchen and decided to improvise. I made the executive decision that corn tortillas would make a perfect substitute (might sound strange to some, but corn tortillas are a staple in these parts, plus they are gluten-free and are very handy for holding/transporting food).
Spanakopita quesadillas were the perfect (gluten-free) fix for a Greek craving. Not authentic by any stretch, but the flavors were there and they were so, so, so easy to make. I threw in a few chopped kalamatas for fun and I served up these quesadillas with some delicious tomato pasta sauce (Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic) and some Greek yogurt mixed with dill and a few spices in an attempt to make a totally illegitimate tzatziki. I do kind of , sort of, like tzatziki, but cucumber in general makes my skin crawl, so plain Greek yogurt and dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice was the perfect compromise.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4+ cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- cooking spray
- 1/2 cup prepared pasta sauce
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- First make the ‘mock’ tzatziki. Combine Greek yogurt, dill, garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is heated add onion and cooking until translucent and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook another minute or two until fragrant. Add oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir until mixed.
- Next add the baby spinach. Stir to coat and cook until spinach has wilted.
- Remove pan from heat and put the spinach mix into a bowl or plate and set aside. Wipe down the pan return to medium heat and spray with cooking spray (you can use a new pan, but why do more dishes?). Place one tortilla in the pan and heat. Flip over when warmed and sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella. Top the cheese with half the spinach mixture, 1/4 cup of the feta and half the olives.
- Place another tortilla on top, spray lightly with cooking spray and use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over. Cook until the tortilla is warmed through and slightly crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Repeat with the other tortillas to make a second quesadilla.