Shrimp Quesadillas with Coconut Cilantro Salsa

by Brenda Langton, Tastemaker in Residence


Shrimp Quesadillas // Makes 4 Quesadillas

8 (6- or 8-inch) flour tortillas
1 (12-ounce) jar mild or medium salsa verde-tomatillo-based salsa)
1/2 lb jack or cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
3/4 to 1 lb cooked shrimp or chicken, chopped


  1. Heat a little oil in a large skillet or cast-iron pan. Cook the quesadillas till they are lightly browned and crisp. You can also cook them on a cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven.Turn after 3 or 4 minutes to brown both sides.
  2. Serve topped with coconut cilantro salsa.

Coconut Cilantro Salsa  / / Makes 2 cups of salsa 

This recipe is a great way to use the massive bunches of mint and cilantro you get all summer at your farmers’ market. The salsa is really more of an East Indian chutney and was a favorite at Cafe Brenda for years. It’s so fresh and lively, it will snap your taste buds from Oaxaca to Mumbai. We serve it at the restaurant with chopped cooked shrimp.

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped jalapeno
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1⁄3 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1⁄3 cup water


  1. To make the salsa, coarsely chop the cilantro, mint, and jalapenos in a food processor. Add the coconut, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Pulse just until combined. Add water as needed, making sure that salsa is not too thin.
  2. Assemble the quesadillas by spreading 4 tortillas with about 3 tablespoons of salsa verde each. Then add a layer of the cheese and 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped shrimp or chicken to each. Top each quesadilla with another tortilla.