A big indicator that fall is on the way can be marked by the arrival of apples. Apples become cheaper at the grocery store, there is more of them, and they are huge because they are in season. I love apples. Raw or just warm please, I do not like cooked apples. And yes that means I don’t like apple pie. My favorite combination is peanut butter with an apple. Can be a tart or sweet apple, I’m not picky. I used to not care for the tart apples much but have since gotten over that and now will gladly eat whatever apple comes my way.
I recently saw Paula Deen make this grilled apple sandwich and it had me intrigued. I have recently started mixing fruit in with savory dishes. I didn’t use to be a big fan of that but having apples with cheese fondue converted me. The sweet crispness of the apple combined with salty garlicy cheese sent me to the moon. I loved it! And it caused me to start experimenting by combining fruits with other things I normally would have avoided.
One thing I used to avoid was mixing apples with onions. I know it’s a classic combination but as I mentioned above, I don’t like cooked apples. And most apple and onion dishes involve cooking the apple. Paula’s sandwich was heated enough to make everything toasty warm without cooking the apple. This sold me on the concept. I wanted to take the main ingredients and see if I could come up with a lighter version that would still be full on flavor. Apple Cheddar Quesadillas were born.
Andrea’s Apple Cheddar Quesadillas
- 2 flour burrito sized tortillas
- 1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
- 12 1/4 inch slices of good sharp cheddar
- 1/4 of a small to medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp of unsalted butter or spreadable butter
- Nonstick cooking spray
Heat up a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Spread 1 tsp of butter on one side of each tortilla. Spray the skillet with cooking spray (just to make sure there will be no sticking). Lay one tortilla, butter side down in the skillet. On half of the tortilla, layer it with some sliced onion, then four slices of cheddar, and then a handful of the apple. Then two more slices of cheddar on top of the apple. Fold the remaining half of the tortilla over the side with the fillings. Cook for about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side for 4 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and the tortilla is brown and crispy. Cut into thirds and eat!
I had a block of my favorite cheddar on hand (Helluva Good Extra Extra Sharp Cheddar) so I used that. But you can use whatever cheddar you like or have on hand at the time. I did have leftover apple, which we ate with our dinner, but it could be used to make a third quesadilla. Just slice a little more onion and cheese to stretch the recipe.
Both Scott and I loved this quesadilla. It had really nice flavor combination to it without the onions overpowering everything. The apples gave the quesadilla a nice crunch and were just warmed through perfectly. It made for a perfect light meal. We were left full and satisfied, without being overfull or weighted down by a heavy main dish.
This is definitely something that will move into rotation here at OHC HQ. This is a nice light dish that I can feel good about eating and serving. This would also make a great appetizer or as part of a tapas bar for a party. Make a bunch, cut them up into smaller pieces and keep them warm in your oven or toaster oven.
Enjoy guys! And remember, always play with your food!