Skagit Food Co-op blog:

the Cheese Whisperer

The Cheese Whisperer: Quesadilla with Fresh Samish Bay Cheese & Greens

Local cheese maker Chad Clarke has perfected the art of making fresh cheese at Samish Bay Cheese, an organic dairy in Bow, WA. Clarke crafts a farmstead award-winning cheese known as the Ladysmith: a fresh cheese with a mild, bright flavor and the melting quality of mozzarella. The cheese took First Place at the American Cheese Society’s Annual Competition in 2010. Delicate and tart, the Ladysmith is available in its classic, plain form or infused with farm fresh chives.

Clarke also makes Queso Fresco and Queso Jalapeno, firmly pressed curd cheese made in the traditional style found throughout Mexico and Central America. This local Queso Jalapeño just won Second Place, Hispanic and Portuguese Style Cheese with Flavoring category at the 2011 American Cheese Society Annual Competition. Both cheeses make fabulous quesadilla filling.

Celebrate these local, fresh curds by wrapping them up in a flavorful quesadilla. Keep the local theme going by pairing this tasty, quick meal with Washington State’s own Milbrandt Pinot Gris 2009, a crisp dry white wine with a pleasant minerality and smooth finish.

Recipe: Quesadilla with Local Cheese & Greens


  • 1 cup cubed organic Samish Bay Queso Fresco or Ladysmith cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated organic Samish Bay Mont Blanchard Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup shredded leafy greens: kale, collards, chard or spinach
  • 1 (10oz.) package of Sprouted Corn Tortillas
  • Olive Oil


Heat large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Lightly brush each tortilla with olive oil, then place in pan with oiled side facing down. Add cheese, onions and greens to taste and top with another tortilla. Turn quesadillas when bottom starts to brown and cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream, shredded cabbage and fresh sliced avocado. Comforting, simple and satisfying.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.