Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Total Time:
45 min
10 min
35 min
  • 1 small onion, chopped coarse
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted (procedure follows)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt, pepper
  • 6 (9 to 10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (4 1/2-ounce) log soft mild goat cheese such as Montrachet, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto*
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • *available at specialty food shops and many supermarkets
  • Make sauce: In a skillet cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor and add roasted peppers, basil, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend sauce until smooth and transfer to a small bowl. (Sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.)

  • Put 1 tortilla on a work surface and spread with 1 goat cheese piece, covering surface evenly. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto over goat cheese and cover with one fourth of onion. Repeat layering in the same manner, ending with a tortilla and gently pressing layers together. Make 1 more layered quesadilla with the remaining tortillas, goat cheese, pesto, and onion. Spread top and bottom of each quesadilla with 1/2 tablespoon butter.

  • Heat a griddle or well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook quesadilla, 1 at a time, gently pressing down with a metal spatula, until golden, about 4 minutes on each side. Cut each quesadilla into 8 wedges and serve warm with roasted red pepper sauce.

  • To Roast Peppers: Using a long-handled fork, char peppers over an open flame or on a rack set over an electric burner, turning them, until skins are blackened, 4 to 6 minutes. (Or broil peppers on a rack of a broiler about 2 inches from heat, turning them every 5 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes, or until skins are blistered and charred.) Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Keeping peppers whole, peel them, starting at blossom end. Cut off pepper tops and discard seeds and ribs.

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