In elementary school, I had a friend whose mom would make waffles for lunch. Ricotta-cheese-stuffed waffles, topped with strawberries and maple syrup.
I loved going to this friend’s house. It was a magical world. Outside, in the corner of their yard, you ducked under some wild rosebushes to reach a trail that led over a creek and into a clearing where we could walk or run or throw a ball for their golden retriever. In her basement, there were shelves full of games and a box packed with the wealth of dress-up clothes that can only come from having two older sisters. In her living room, there was a grand piano on which one of her sisters would play Beethoven while my friend and I took turns dancing in hand-me-down, far-too-roomy “toe shoes,” like real ballerinas.
Then, when it was almost noon, because everything ran on schedule there, my friend would put the toe shoes back in their box, or whistle for the dog and head back over the creek, or fold up the purple puffed-sleeve prom dress and stuff it back in the dress-up clothes box. Then we would wash our hands and sit down to feast on waffles.
In this enchanted home, you could eat waffles for lunch instead of breakfast. Everything had its own shelf in this house, and everything happened on time, and yet here was one thing so wonderfully out of place.
Today I’m offering a recipe for a meal so sweet that it is wonderfully out of place as a dinner. As such, it is sure to bring back childhood memories of meals served slightly off-kilter, just for the fun of it.
These Brie quesadillas, made with a sweet balsamic peach compote recipe from Lori Scheckler of DiBruno Brothers, are best when baked. (They’re hard to flip in a frying pan.) Even if it’s hard to pin down whether to serve them for dinner or dessert, be sure to serve them from mid-July to the end of August, when local peaches are at their peak: juicy, flavorful and aromatic.
- 4 whole wheat tortillas
- 1 tablespoon butter
- One 8-ounce Brie round, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- A few pinches of chili powder
- 3 large ripe peaches, chopped
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Make the compote: mix chopped peaches, sugar, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit has softened. The sugar will melt as the peaches release their juices. Remove from heat, let cool.
- Melt the butter, butter the tortillas and place them on a baking sheet. Fill each tortilla with 3-4 slices of Brie, a few spoonfuls of compote, a sprinkle of raisins and basil and a few pinches of chili powder, leaving half of the tortilla empty so you can fold it over.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until the Brie is well melted and the tortillas are golden brown. Top with more compote if you wish.
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