19 March 2013

Brussels Sprout, Black Bean & Brie Quesadilla

I never thought for a moment that I would ever live to see the day that my husband would actually ask me to make brussels sprouts.  He had never even eaten one until I began my sprout-kick early last year.  Ladies and gents, it is with sheer delight that I inform you this day did indeed come.  It was last Thursday, March 14th, 2013.  He simply slipped into the conversation his desire for me to make brussels sprouts again.  Well, perhaps not exactly brussels sprouts...but he did request that I make this exact quesadilla again.  And any time that I get to eat black beans, sprouts and black truffle brie grilled to melty perfection, I am happy to oblige.  Score one for the vegetarians!

Warning:  This dish will make vegetarians very hungry.  Especially bunnies...and Easter candles.

The first time I made these, my hubs suggested that we try going vegetarian for a while.  Now I've been there and done that so it's no stretch for me, but the thought that my hamburger-loving, chicken wing-popping, chorizo-chowing man would ever give up meat astounded me.  Even more than his request for brussels sprouts.  But this is the quesadilla that made him want to give up meat.  It wasn't the sprouts or the beans that did it....it was the other big ingredient...the black truffle brie.

So I know, you're thinking "WTF?!  And where would I ever find black truffle brie?!  Guess this one's out."  Welp, think again!  We got ours at Sam's club, and quite accidentally.  They only had one kind on the shelf so we grabbed a wheel and headed out.  It was only when we'd gotten home that we realized the delicious mistake we'd made.  Now everyone knows the mild, melty, nutty deliciousness that is better known as brie.  But you may well have never tried black truffles.  The first time I experienced their syrupy sweet and savory flavor was at an infused oil shop in Lewiston, New York.  After one sample of oil-drenched bread, we knew we would be leaving with a bottle.  It is currently sitting in our pantry and going fast (such as Apple Walnut Pasta).

My other favorite thing to cook with the black truffle oil is brussels sprouts.  Both have a strong, distinct flavor that can overpower milder culinary counterparts.  But when you bring the two together, something magical happens.  Rather than a battle-royale on your taste buds, you get a delightful balance between their big flavors.  It's quite awesome.  I like adding a few black beans for some extra texture and protein.  And by grilling the quesadilla in a dry pan, you end up with a fabulously crusty exterior like a chewy hard taco shell.  So satisfying.  Darn delectable.  Utterly unparalleled.  (Can you tell mnemonics are my favorite literary device?)  

If back to the brie.  If you can't find the black truffle variety, just use regular brie.  You will still have an amazing quesadilla with hearty brussels sprouts and rich brie that is drool-worthy.  You can always cook up your brussels in a splash of black truffle oil, if you have that on hand.  We've done both ways, and even without the truffles the hubs still requests this quesadilla.  Brussel conversion achieved.

Brussels Sprout, Black Bean & Brie Quesadilla (serves 2)
  • 1 1/2 c brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/2 c black beans
  • 3-4 oz brie, sliced (black truffle if you can find it!)
  • 2 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • drizzle black truffle oil (optional) 
Place a large pan over medium-high heat.  While pan is warming up, prepare your brussels sprouts.  Add a teaspoon of olive oil or spray the pan with non-stick, then add the brussels sprouts.  Cook for about 8 minutes, until browned and soft when poked with a fork.  Remove sprouts to a cutting board, then place pan back on heat and reduce to medium-low.

Divide the brussels sprouts into two equal portions.  Scoop each portion from the cutting board onto half of a tortilla, leaving the other half uncovered.  Sprinkle a quarter cup of beans over the sprouts and top with slices of brie, evenly distributed.  


  1. So happy you stumbled upon a delicious mistake - that black truffle brie is a crowd-pleaser for all my wine+cheese nights with girlfriends. Brussels Sprouts and brie are a great combination and those quesadillas look amazing. Chef Katie Workman whipped up this Brussels Sprouts recipe for Sam's Club in January - take a look: http://www3.samsclub.com/meals/recipes/warm-brussels-sprouts-bacon-mustard-vinaigrette-recipe
    Thank you for being a member. – Carrie from Sam’s Club @samsclubcarrie

    1. Thanks for the recipe Carrie and all the good work that you folks do over at Sam's. I'll be hitting you up this weekend for an industrial-sized bag of mini-eggs, an Easter necessity.