Fall recipes: Autumn-inspired quesadilla

11/06/15 – BOSTON, MA. – Executive Chef Tom Barton makes a fall inspired seasonal quesadilla on Nov. 6, 2015. Photo by: Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

For the fourth and final installment of our fall recipe series, campus executive chef Tom Barton offers a delicious dish with a seasonal twist.

Yields two portions
(View recipe as PDF)

Listen to campus executive chef Tom Barton discuss his inspiration for the dish and offer a few cooking tips:


  • 1 small bottle Sriracha sauce
  • ¼ peeled and seeded butternut squash
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 cup kale, stems and ribs removed and hand torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup Brussels sprouts, washed, cleaned, halved, and finely shredded
  • ¼ cup shredded jack cheese
  • ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted until soft and golden brown and mashed into a paste
  • 2-to-6-inch flour tortillas

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with sides with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Pour the Sriracha sauce onto the lined baking sheet and, using a small offset spatula, evenly spread the sauce over the entire surface. Place the baking sheet into the oven, leaving the oven open slightly. Continue to bake for approximately four to six hours or until the sauce is well dried. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the Sriracha away from the silicone mat or parchment paper and let it cool and dry completely. When cooled, and working in batches, place the dried Sriracha in a coffee grinder or small food processor and process until it is light and powdery. Alternatively, you can place it into a Ziplock bag and crush it with a rolling pin or meat mallet.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and seed the squash. Slice the squash into approximately ¼ inch slices. Place the slices in a medium-sized bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of the oil, salt, and Sriracha powder, adding as much Sriracha powder as you can comfortably stand when eating. Mix well to coat the slices of squash. Arrange the slices onto a baking sheet, being careful not to overlap any of the slices. Place in the oven and continue to bake until the slices are cooked throughout and slightly golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.

3. Place one of the tortillas on a work surface and gently and carefully spread the roasted garlic over the surface of the tortilla. Next, place a mixture of kale and shredded Brussels sprouts. Arrange the slices of roasted squash over the greens then top with the cheeses. Finish by placing the remaining tortilla shell on top. Press down lightly.

4. Place a medium-sized pan over medium heat and add the remaining teaspoon of oil. When the pan is hot enough, carefully place the quesadilla into the pan. Cook until the bottom tortilla is lightly browned and, using a spatula, carefully flip the quesadilla over to cook the other side. Continue to cook until heated throughout, the cheese is melted, and the tortillas are a light golden color. Alternatively, the quesadilla may be cooked on a panini press. Remove the quesadilla from the pan and place it on the cutting board. Cut the quesadilla into pieces and arrange the pieces on a serving plate.

Chef Tom’s says:
The idea for this quesadilla came up as I was thinking about applying techniques I use to cook meat to cooking vegetables. So instead of seasoning a chicken breast or pork roast we season and roast the squash. We wanted to season the whole half of the squash, roast it, and then cut it into slices once it was cooked and slightly cooled. Instead of carving a chicken or pork roast we are “carving” the squash, which has a slightly dramatic effect and great aroma.