I have a picky eater, but I watched in glee last night as he shoved radishes and carrots into his mouth.

On a whim, I’d decided to make quesadillas to go with our chicken tortilla soup. To add crunch to what’s usually a pretty soft dish, I grated a few radishes and carrots into the cheese filling.

Suddenly it dawned on me: Maybe my big boy would get some veggies down his gullet without realizing they were there.

Now, I’m not a stealth cook. I prefer my kids to see what they’re eating. (All the better to point out, “Yes, you’ve had that before, and yes, you liked it.”) But for my child who lives on bread and cheese and casts a suspicious eye on anything that grows from dirt, occasional trickery is a good thing.

Toasted and served in quarters, I watched as the oldest grabbed a few pieces, dipped them in soup and ate away.

“That was good,” he said after eating.

The burning question now: Should I tell him what he ate?

Veggie Quesadillas

Use any crunchy vegetable you have on hand that you can coarsely grate. Likewise, use whatever ratio of veggie to cheese you happen to like.

  • ques filling1 generous cup of coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 4-5 radishes, coarsely grated
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • Grapeseed oil

In a bowl or on a plate, mix together the first four ingredients. If needed, add a few more grated radishes and carrots. The cheese shouldn’t be the star here … you want just enough to bind the vegetables together.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s very hot.

ques greasedPlace the quesadilla filling on top of a corn tortilla, leaving a half-inch border. Top with another tortilla, and brush both sides with grapeseed oil. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.

ques in panWorking one at a time, place the quesadilla in the skillet. Cook until the first side is golden brown, then carefully turn the tortillas over and cook on the other side, pressing lightly to make sure the filling melds together.

Remove to a platter and cool slightly. Cut into fourths.

Serve with sour cream, salsa and more cilantro if desired.