California quesadillas have delicious flavor

The fifth of May marks an important day in Mexico's history Although Mexican officially gained independence from Spain in 1821, it wasn't until May of 1862 when the Mexican army defeated the French at the battle of Puebla, that Mexico's destiny as a strong and sovereign nation was solidified. May fifth, or Cinco de Mayo has become a symbol for the nation's perseverance, will and courage.

As Mexico's neighbor,Americans celebrate the occasion with gusto and parties.And what better way to celebrate than with the robust foods and flavors of Mexico.


California Quesadilla

1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds


1 teaspoon almond or vegetable oil

2 large flour tortillas

1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Garden fresh salsa, recipe follows

Spread almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan. Place in cold oven; toast at 350 degrees for five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted. Remove from pan to cool. Brush a ten-inch non-stick or heavy cast iron skillet with oil; heat over medium heat two to four minutes. Sprinkle one tortilla evenly with cheese. Sprinkle with one-quarter cup almonds ( Save remaining one-quarter cup almonds for salsa.) Top with remaining tortilla. Place quesadilla in heated skillet.Cook over medium heat, one to two minutes on both sides, until lightly browned and cheese is melted.Remove from pan and cut into eight wedges. serve with salsa.

Garden Fresh Salsa

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted


2 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or season to taste

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. Makes 1 1/2 cups.