Collard Green Quesadillas

This recipe was demonstrated at the farm stand of The Youth Farm at the High School for Public Service in Crown Heights, Brooklyn as part of Just Food’s Community Chef program. The farm stand is open Wednesdays from 2:30 to 6:30pm June through October. Learn more about the Youth Farm at

Collards, Summer Squash, and Black Bean Quesadillas
adapted from The New Southern Table: Classic Ingredients Revisited by Brys Stephens
Serves 4

Collard greens are a staple of Southern USAmerican cuisine and are traditionally cooked down into a seasoned broth called “pot likker” for several hours, which is valued just as highly as the greens themselves. This recipe won’t take as long, but
promises to be just as good.


1lb collard greens, stems removed and chopped into small pieces

1lb summer squash, shredded or cut into thin slices

1/3 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced

2 cups black beans, fully cooked

2tbs butter or oil of your choice, divided

1tsp smoked paprika

2tsps ground cumin

2 tsps ground coriander

4 flour tortillas, 8 to 10 inches

2 cups grated Monterey Jack, queso Oaxaca, or cheese of your choice



Add the collard greens to a pot of salted boiling water and let cook for up to 10 minutes, or until the leaves have turned bright green. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter or oil over medium heat. Add the paprika, cumin, and coriander and stir continuously for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and squash and cook until for about 5 minutes until tender, stirring often. Add the collard greens and black beans and cook until hot.

Transfer this mixture to a bowl and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.

Heat half the remaining oil in the skillet. Add one tortilla to the skillet and fill half of it with 2-3 large spoonfuls of the collard mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, then fold the tortilla in half, pressing down to seal it. If there’s room, add the another tortilla and repeat the process. Cook each quesadilla for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, on each side.

Remove quesadillas from the skillet and let cool before serving. Serve whole or cut into wedges. Serve with rice, avocado or guacamole, and sour cream, if desired.

Melissa Danielle, founder of Bed-Stuy Bounty, is an Integrative Nutrition Health and Community Food Coach.  Melissa helps block, tenant, and community associations build community around food through cooking demos, workshops, field trips, and food buying clubs. Learn more by clicking here.