Sometimes, you just need a really quick meal, like these butternut squash quesadillas. The Italians have pizza, the Mexicans have quesadillas, and I have pan toasties. Why pan toasties? Well, there was a rather long period when I didn’t own a toaster, so I became pretty handy at making a variety of toasted sandwiches using a dry skillet. I’ve used everything from regular white bread and focaccia to khobz and lavash, but the bread that stood out (perhaps purely because it was skillet-sized and shaped) was the humble flour tortilla. Once the butternut squash is roasted and stored in the refrigerator to stay fresh, this cheesy butternut squash recipe will come together in five minutes on a busy weekday morning. Tulum is a wonderful salty Turkish cheese traditionally made in animal hides, but if you can’t find it, feta or a strong sharp cheese will work well, too.Butternut, Sage, and Tulum Pan ToastiesExcerpted from Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East by Sabrina Ghayour. Copyright © 2016. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the butternut squash on the prepared sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 40 minutes until soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then scoop out flesh into a bowl and fork through it gently, adding the sage and a good amount of salt and pepper to taste.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and allow the pan to heat up. Put 1 tortilla into the pan, then crumble half the tulum cheese all over the tortilla. Divide the butternut mixture into 2 equal portions and gently cover half the tortilla with 1 portion of the butternut mixture and, if you like it spicy and want to add the Aleppo pepper, sprinkle half of it over the filling. Fold the clear half of the tortilla over the butternut mixture and pat it down to make a semicircle. Toast on both sides until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.