From Food 2.0 by Charlie Ayers.
I knew I would like this one. I love Brie, for one thing, and pretty much any form of quesadilla sounds good to me as well. I also knew the contrasting flavors – the peppery arugula, the earthy brie, and the sweet/tart apple – would harmonize beautifully.
Best of all – I had everything on hand, although in smaller portions than the recipe calls for, including arugula growing in our garden. I also didn't have whole wheat tortillas (as the recipe lists) – just the normal plain ol' white ones. But hey – I had some. So I ended up making 4 white quesadillas instead of 8 whole wheat ones, but otherwise I was all set.
So, without further delay… here is Mr. Ayers' recipe:
Apple and Brie Quesadillas
Makes 8///Prep Time: 20 minutes///Cook time: About 24 minutes
2 Granny Smith apples
1 T fresh lemon juice
About 1/4 cup olive oil
8 cups arugula
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz (225g) just-ripe Brie cheese
8 soft whole wheat tortillas
Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples.
Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and 2 T water to prevent browning.
Heat 1 T of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a few handfuls of arugula,
sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and move around with tongs for a few seconds until the arugula is just wilted. Transfer to a bowl. Add a little more oil to the pan and continue to wilt the remaining arugula in the same way. Set aside.
Drain the apple slices and pat dry on paper towels. Divide the Brie into eight portions
and spread one portion onto a tortilla. On one half of the tortilla, arrange a few slices of apple and some wilted arugula.
Fold over the other half of the tortilla and press together. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, Brie, apples, and arugula.
Heat a little olive oil in the cleaned skillet. Put in a folded tortilla and cook over medium high heat, pressing down with a spatula, until the base is brown and crisp.
Turn over and brown the other side. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board.
Cut into three or four wedges and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas. Serve warm.
You probably noticed I cooked all mine at once on a griddle rather than one at a time in the skillet I'd used for the arugula. I prefer doing that with quesadillas because they tend to lose their crispness if they sit around for too long. They still taste good, but they lose the crunch.
Anyway. The first person to try one of these was my husband. I think he liked them – he mumbled (mouth full of quesadilla) something that sounded like "vat stuck in wood" – though I don't think that's exactly it. It sounded like that, though. Anyway, he grabbed another one and went outside to hide from the children.
I tried one – and yep, just as I thought, I liked it. Warm brie, slight crisp/soft bite to the apple, the peppery arugula, and the crisp tortilla. And so easy!
Next up – my son, he of the super olefactory senses. He came into the kitchen sniffing the air and asking what that was.
Now, the original plan, particularly according to my husband, (maybe he said "hats, puck 'n' hood!" ? no…that doesn't make any sense…) was to keep the rest of the quesadillas for us to eat later, just the two of us, after the kids went to bed. Yes, we are most definitely selfish and greedy like that at times.
But I couldn't turn Alex away. I could have told him there was Brie in it – that would have sent him running. But…I want them to try things. So I said there were apples in it, and I gave him a wedge.
He walked around the kitchen, chewing, his face thoughtful, nodding his approval.
I nearly fell over.
Anyway, next up – Julia – who had apparently heard Alex chewing from two miles down the road (just kidding – she was somewhere in the house) and wanted to know what she was missing out on.
Rather than stand on ceremony, she took a wedge of quesadilla off of the cutting board and took a bite.
She liked it, too, but that didn't surprise me. She likes just about anything that someone else is enjoying.
So overall I'd say these were a definite success in this house. (Much to my husband's dismay. Less for him. (Maybe he said "mats duck'n could"…but I don't think so.)
There is, as I type this, three hours after I made them, only one of the original four quesadillas left.
They are cold, but will be just fine when I heat them up.
And run out to the garage with them so I can eat in peace.
But you go ahead and make them – you'll understand.