Do you use your email to remember life events? I have a terrible memory for dates, so I had to resort to my email archives to find when I met Nicole Gulotta. She’s author of the new Eat this Poem cookbook, and the blog Eat this Poem, but most importantly: she’s a dear friend. Turns out we met in April 2013. She was in Chicago for a conference, and Alex and I drove up to meet her and a few other food bloggers. Even in those days, being virtual friends before meeting in person was becoming commonplace. The “real life” meeting is what solidifies the deal, right? It predicts whether your friendship is true, or just virtual. Turns out with Nicole, it was.
According to my email archives, Nicole and I wrote long-winded emails to each other most of 2014. We discovered a horrible yet uniting bond of having miscarriages in the same month. We wrote about our dreams to publish books, and to change the world through food. We started having monthly catch-up phone calls, wondering what the future would hold. Would we have children? Would we write books?
You know those people you meet where you’re almost living parallel lives, asking the same questions at the same moment? Nicole is one of those people for me.
It’s now 2017 and not only is Nicole mama to a beautiful son, Henry, she’s author of a gorgeous book pairing recipes and poems called Eat this Poem. Nicole is an incredibly talented writer, and the way she’s created recipes to pair with poems from her favorite poets is genius. These gooey mushroom and brie quesadillas jumped out to us; with a bit of fresh herbs and a drizzle of honey, it was a supremely satisfying lunch for us that was also incredibly quick to whip up. And as we paged through the other recipes in the book, each one sounded just as tempting. I couldn’t be more excited to share this book with you today, that dream that was shared over phone calls and late night emails. Hats off to Nicole on this major accomplishment — and cheers to those virtual friendships that blossom into long lasting ones.
Buy it > Eat this Poem
Mushroom and Brie Quesadillas
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon rosemary, minced (we used thyme as it was what we had onhand)
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 flour tortillas (or gluten-free)
- 8 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 cup arugula, lightly packed
- Flat leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and rosemary, seasoning with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper; cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender and golden. Remove from heat and scrape the mushrooms into a bowl.
- Keep the pan on the heat and add 1 teaspoon of oil. If the slices of Brie are long and stick out of the tortilla, cut them in half. Place two pieces of Brie on one side of the tortilla. Nestle one quarter of the mushrooms over the top, followed by one quarter of the arugula and another two slices of Brie. Drizzle or spread a bit of honey on the opposite side of the tortilla before folding it over the top. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Cook the quesadillas on one side for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden. Flip gently and continue cooking on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted. Slice and serve sprinkled with a bit of chopped parsley, if using.