Roasted Squash, Red Pepper and Jack Cheese Quesadilla

A creamy, savory-sweet purée of roasted vegetables replaces half the cheese in this colorful, vegetarian-friendly quesadilla recipe from The Epicurious Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, October 2012) by Tanya Steel and the Editors of Epicurious.com. (Try serving the dip with raw veggies or even grilled corn.) Although dicing and then roasting the squash amps up the intensity of the roasted flavor, you can save some time by simply halving the squash before putting it into the oven and scooping out the flesh once it’s soft.

Roasted Squash, Red Pepper, and Jack Cheese Quesadillas with Chipotle Lime Sour Cream Dip
Recipe from The Epicurious Cookbook by Tanya Steel and the Editors of Epicurious.com

Yield: Makes 4 servings

For Dip
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup sour cream

For Quesadillas
1 ¾-pound seedless piece butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice (about 5 cups)
1 medium onion, unpeeled, cut into eighths
1 large garlic clove, unpeeled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about
1 large)
1 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter, softened

Make Dip
In a small bowl, stir the chile and lime juice into the sour cream until combined well.

Make Quesadillas
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a shallow baking pan, arrange the squash, onion, and garlic in a single layer and drizzle with the oil, tossing to coat. Roast in the middle of the oven 15 minutes, or until the garlic is tender, and transfer garlic to a work surface. Roast squash and onion until tender, about 15 minutes more. Discard peels from onion and garlic.

2. In a food processor purée the squash, onion, and garlic with salt and pepper to taste until smooth.

3. Spread about one-fourth of the squash purée on each of 4 tortillas and sprinkle each with about one-fourth bell pepper and about one-fourth cheese. Top each quesadilla with a plain tortilla, pressing gently together. Spread each side of the quesadillas with ½ tablespoon butter.

4. Heat a griddle or 7-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot and cook the quesadillas, 1 at a time, until golden, about 3 minutes on each side, transferring to a cutting board as they finish cooking.

5. Cut each quesadilla into 6 to 8 wedges and serve warm with the chipotle dip.

Do ahead:
The Dip may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. The Squash purée may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.