- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced crosswise
- 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 6 oz. soft mild goat cheese at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
- ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 12 matzahs
- Water to wet the matzah
- 1 lb. sliced smoked salmon (preferably Nova)
- 1 firm-ripe avocado
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise (2⅔ cups)
- 4 cups loosely-packed arugula leaves (2 to 3 bunches)
- Dip the matzahs in water and then place them on paper towels to soften. Soak sliced onion in a bowl of ice and cold water 15 minutes, then drain well and pat dry.
- While onion soaks, stir together cheeses, chives, zest, and pepper in a bowl with a rubber spatula until combined well.
- Spread about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 Tablespoons cheese mixture evenly over each of 2 matzahs.
- Top 1 matzah with an even layer of salmon, covering cream cheese completely, then top with other matzah, cheese side down.
- Make 5 more matzah quesadillas in same manner, then stack on a plate and chill, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to heat.
- Halve, pit, and peel avocado, then cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Lightly brush avocado slices with lemon juice.
- Heat griddle over high heat until very hot, then reduce heat to moderate. Lightly brush 2 quesadillas on both sides with some oil, then toast on griddle (1 at a time if necessary) until undersides are golden with some blackened spots, approx 2 to 3 min.
- Flip quesadillas over with a spatula and toast until undersides are golden with some blackened spots, 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet, arranging in 1 layer, and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Toast remaining quesadillas in same manner, using a second baking sheet.
- Heat remaining oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook tomatoes, stirring occasionally and seasoning with salt and pepper, until just beginning to soften, about 1 minute.
- Transfer quesadillas to plates, then top with onion, avocado, tomatoes, and arugula.
DESCRIPTION: Fresh Chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
- Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
- Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
- Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
- If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
- If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.
SPINACH & ARUGULA:
INFESTATION: Spinach and arugula tend to be highly infested throughout the year. Light green thrips are often found in the small curls of the leaves. Occasionally, worms may be found in burrows within the body of the leaf. Look for a narrow (1/8_) translucent burrow speckled with black dots breaking up the deep green color of the leaf. These burrows will often trap the worm within the leaf. To rid the leaf of these worms, carefully slit the bumpy part within the burrow with a sharp knife and remove the worm.
- Soak leaves in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Separate the spinach leaves and agitate them in the soapy solution.
- Using a heavy stream of water or a power hose, remove all foreign matter and soap from the leaf surface. Alternatively, a vegetable brush may be used on both sides of the leaf.
- Several leaves should be checked over a light box or under strong overhead light to verify that the washing procedure has been effective. Both sides of the leaf must be checked.
- If it is practical, it is best to check each leaf.