Here in the spooniverse, you may have noticed that I like to make up words. In fact, today’s post contains no less than 4 made up words, including my newest tortilla-enveloped friend, the squashadilla. Yes, it is a made up word. No, I didn’t exactly make it up, but I so appreciated the clever lad or lady that first coined the concept that I immediately decided to adopt the term and adapt the recipe. Could roasted butternut squash really take the place of cheese in a quesadilla? Be still my beating heart.
I try not to pawn off my hare-brained recipes on dinner guests, unless I am sure that it’s a legitimately tasty recipe and not just filled with healthy things prepared in boring ways. My lovely readers, I wouldn’t dream of giving you a recipe that hadn’t been fully vetted by a panel of skeptical but open-minded eaters. I’m happy to say that this recipe has been fully tested and approved by a dinner party full of diverse eaters, and a teachers lounge chock full of hungry colleagues. I knew I had found some unbiased test subjects when each of them raised an eyebrow upon hearing me say as maniacally as a mad scientist with hair all willy-nilly, “I made squashadillas!!! Waaaaaaant one?”. Ummmm, okay…? Sure! How can you say no to a maniac who’s offering you a food with as fun of a name as this?
So without further ado, I present you the squashadilla. Roasted butternut squash, mashed with frizzled onions–now wait a minute! What are frizzled onions? I think “frizzled” is a more fitting term than sauteed when we’re talking thinly sliced onions that are cooked at a heat that is just slightly hotter than usual, and stirred slightly less than usual, resulting in some of that browned, roasty caramelized flavor. If you slice ‘em thin, these little guys help the squash to mimic some of that melted cheese texture you want in a quesadilla. As a nod to the traditional quesadilla flavor I love, I added an ample amount of chile powder. In honor of the butternut squash, I incorporated one of its best buds, flavor-affinity wise, fresh sage. Everything is mashed together and hugged between two tortillas, rubbed down with coconut oil, and baked until the edges are golden and crisp.
In closing, I thought I’d round off this post with a review of lessons learned:
•made up words can be totally legit
•onions can be frizzly
•squashadillas are a perfectly reasonable substitute for quesadillas
•never say no to a maniac offering you a squashadilla
Butternut “Squashadillas” with Frizzled Onions and Sage
makes 2 10-inch Squashadillas
These are the sort of appetizer or simple dinner that people will curiously try, then polish off in a hot minute. Guac or a good salsa make good accompaniments. Serve right out of the oven, crispy and hot.
•1 small butternut squash (halved and seeded)
•1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•2 teaspoons (packed) very thinly sliced sage leaves
•1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
•salt to taste
•Olive oil (coconut oil works too)
•four 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Rub the cut ends of the butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Put face down on a nonstick baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Allow to cool, then scoop out the flesh and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. When hot, add the onion slices and cook over medium high heat until soft. Don’t stir too often–you want the edges to be “frizzled” and deeply golden.
Add the garlic and sage, and stir constantly for a minute until garlic softens. Add the butternut squash flesh and mash it into the onion mixture with a wooden spoon. Add the chile powder and kosher salt to taste.
Heat tortillas in oven until pliable. Spread half of the butternut squash mixture onto a tortilla and top with another tortilla. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Brush the tortillas with olive oil or coconut oil and bake at 350˚F on a sheet pan until golden and crispy on the edges, about 6 minutes on each side (flip halfway through).
Serve while hot.
•Substitute different herbs, such as cilantro or rosemary and thyme
•Use the butternut mixture as a filling for vegan enchiladas
•Play around with the spice mixture, adding coriander, cumin, etc…
•Let me know what other variations you come up with!