Brie Quesadillas with Fresh Fruit Salsa Recipe

  Mexican Appetizer

1 pound brie cheese, well chilled
12 5- or 6-inch flour tortillas
1 small bunch cilantro, large stems removed
1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe follows)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups fresh fruit salsa (recipe follows)

Candied Walnuts
(Makes about 1 cup)
1 cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Fresh Fruit Salsa
(Makes about 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup diced mango (about 1 medium mango)
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1//4 pepper)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1/2 serrano chile, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, seasoned or plain, or to taste
Juice of one lime
Sprinkle of salt, or to taste

Cut the rind off the sides of the Brie and cut it into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay 6 of the tortillas out on a clean work surface. Divide the Brie and Candied Walnuts evenly among the tortillas and place 4 to 6 sprigs of cilantro on each. Place the remaining tortillas on top to enclose the filling. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

Heat a flat griddle over medium-high heat. Spray the griddle lightly with nonstick cooking spray and cook the quesadillas, turning once, until they are slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Place them on a cutting board and allow them to set up for a minute or two before cutting each into 8 wedges. Serve with Fresh Fruit Salsa.

Candied Walnuts: In a bowl, toss the walnuts with the maple syrup to coat. Place the walnuts on a foil-lined sheet and bake them at 300°F for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring several times, until they are lightly browned and the syrup has reduced to a glaze. Allow them to cool slightly, then remove them from the foil and store them in an airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to 2 weeks.

Fresh Fruit Salsa: In a nonreactive mixing bowl, gently mix all salsa ingredients. Check the seasoning, adding sugar, vinegar, or salt to taste. Chill for no more than 1 hour and serve with Brie Quesadillas.
It is important to chop all the salsa ingredients the same size-about 1/2 inch square-so that each bite will have the right balance of flavors. Ingredients for the salsa may be prepped ahead, but don't mix them together more than an hour before serving, or the acid in the pineapple will soften the delicate mango. The recipe for Candied Walnuts will make more than you need, but the extras are great to have on hand to sprinkle on salads and desserts. Serves 6
The classic quesadilla of Mexico is updated here with Brie cheese and sweetened nuts, and served as an appetizer with a bright and tangy salsa of fresh mango and pineapple. This salsa is also wonderful served on grilled chicken or fish.

Brie Quesadillas with Fresh Fruit Salsa

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