Tuesday, November 09, 2010


This is fall wrapped in a tortilla, baby. Sharp mustard, creamy Brie, sweet crisp apple, and peppery arugula are a match made in heaven. (By the way, look at me enjoying mustard in a non-hot dog, non-salad dressing context! I’m all growed up!) For added autumnal bliss, we had butternut squash soup on the side, a combo I highly recommend.

This being Cooking Light, the quantities are rigidly precise, but since we’re basically just putting toppings on tortillas here, feel free to go with your instincts. I winged it because the “fajita-size” tortillas I had in the fridge were smaller than the ones called for; using one of those for each of us, with the topping measurements roughly halved, worked out well. We liked them so much that I ended up making them again later in the week, to accompany some of the leftover soup. One tip: Consider doubling the mustard-cider sauce. The second time, I accidentally made the full quantity instead of half, and A enjoyed using the remainder as a dip for his quesadilla (I dipped into my soup instead, because I am wild and crazy, as well as still secretly mustard-fearing).

Maybe I’m just uncoordinated, but I felt like the quesadillas needed a lot of wrangling while cooking—Brie gets very runny when it melts, the arugula leaves are puffy and like to scatter everywhere, and it’s hard to fold and flip the tortilla without apple slices trying to escape. This really worried me the first time around, but I quickly learned that any cheese that oozes out and browns on the skillet makes an excellent snack for the cook (oh, toasted cheese is such a miraculous substance). And with a bit of practice, I refined my method to make things a bit easier: Put the pepper atop the flat platform of the apples, not the wobbly pile of arugula as the original recipe asks; let the arugula wilt for a few seconds before folding the tortilla over; once you fold the tortilla, flip it over right away so that the cheese is on the top layer of fillings, not the bottom, which helps keep the spillage at bay—you can always flip it over again near the end of cooking if the first side isn’t browned enough for you. My end results were a bit homely, as the photos amply illustrate, but when something tastes this great, I don’t care. Quick to throw together, wholesome yet indulgent-seeming, satisfying enough to be a light meal, this recipe is destined to become a go-to.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider
3 (10-inch) flour tortillas
6 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices, divided
1 Fuji apple, cored and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about ½ pound), divided
3 cups arugula, divided
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1. Combine mustard and cider in a small bowl; stir well.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread each tortilla with about 1½ teaspoons mustard mixture. Place 1 tortilla, mustard side up, in pan. Arrange one-third of cheese slices over half of tortilla; cook 1 minute or until cheese begins to melt. Arrange one-third of apple slices over cheese; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon pepper and top with 1 cup arugula. Fold tortilla in half; press gently with a spatula. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure twice with remaining 2 tortillas, cheese, apple slices, arugula, and pepper. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges.

Serves: 4–6
Time: 20 minutes
Leftover potential: Unknown, but I wouldn’t bother. The recipe is so easy, you can just make a new batch when you’re ready for more.

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