Chipotle Roasted Squash and Kale Quesadillas

November 28th, 2007  |  Published in All, Kale, Squash, Veritable Vegetables, Weeknight Recipes  |  5 Comments

Chipotle Squash and Kale Quesadilla

Chipotle Roasted Squash and Kale Quesadillas
Makes 4 quesadillas, serves 2-3
Note: peeling a squash can be a little difficult. I typically slice the top and bottom off the squash so it sits flat, then carve the skin off with a serrated knife.

1 small squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. (about 2.5 cups) (delicata and buttercup work great here because of their size; a small butternut or sugar pumpkin would work too)
3T. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely minced, including some sauce
1.5t. olive oil
6-8 large leaves Lacinto Kale, stems removed, coarsely torn
approximately 1.5 c grated jack cheese (or pepper jack for extra spice), divided into 4 equal portions
4 flour tortillas (gordita size)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if available. Otherwise, lightly grease with olive oil.

Toss squash with chipotle and olive oil in a large bowl. Stir until evenly coated. Spread on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so that squash browns on multiple sides. Once squash is cooked, remove from oven, and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Reserve squash in a separate bowl. Discard parchment if used, and wipe baking sheet clean.

While the squash roasts, bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Add kale and boil for 10 minutes. Drain kale and set aside.

Lay tortilla directly onto baking sheet. Sprinkle half of the tortilla with half of one of the portions of cheese, distributing evenly up to the edges. Sprinkle a handful of roasted squash and about 1/4 of the kale onto the cheese. Top with remaining half portion of cheese. Fold tortilla in half and gently press down to seal. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese, squash, and kale.

Bake quesadillas for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Cut into wedges, serve and enjoy!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now that the last tomatoes have been harvested, my thoughts turn to fall–to slowing down, to less daylight and more reflections, and to the fall foods I begin to crave as the days grow shorter.

True, in the grocery store one can find most any vegetable or fruit that is desired at nearly any time of year. It’s easy to forget that vegetables are plants that only grow in certain areas at certain times. But, the concept of seasonality is one that is deep seeded in the human consciousness, and when followed with respect to food, can lead to a greater and deeper appreciation of all that sustains us.

I never really thought about this too much until I started receiving a CSA share and started shopping at Farmer’s Markets. Because I can’t find asparagus in autumn or brussels sprouts in summer, I appreciate them that much more when they do make their respective debuts. Another side affect of eating seasonally for me is that the year is divided into sections, and I have a way to gauge the time that has passed. Since the highest highs of summer aren’t too different from the lowest lows of winter here in the Bay Area, I can’t really rely on the weather to do this for me.

But back to fall. Fall to me means squash, sweet potatoes, collard greens, beets, apples, rutabagas, and a wide variety of other roots, tubers, and hearty greens. Most of these vegetables play well together, especially when you start mixing colors and textures. For example:

  • beets and carrots
  • leeks and potatoes
  • red cabbage and onions
  • rutabaga and apples
  • kale and squash

… just to name a few. I find that by simply sticking to what’s in season and a few tried and true cooking methods, it’s hard to go wrong when preparing vegetables.

Just as the vegetables on my counter top change with the season, so do my cooking methods. In the spring, I tend to saute; in the summer, I eat lots of raw things; in the fall and winter, I roast. Roasting squash, in particular, brings out a deep sweetness that is not as pronounced when steaming, boiling, or sauteing. And when combined with a little spice–fantastico!!

One of my favorite quick fall dinners is roasted squash quesadillas. Though the roasting takes a little time, the rest of the recipe comes together in a snap. Using leftover roasted vegetables makes this simple recipe even easier. Feel free to experiment with different combinations. Squash, kale, and chipotle is an all-time favorite around here.

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