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Quesadillas with Squash Blossoms

Quesadillas with Squash Blossoms

Seek out a tortilleria for fresh corn tortillas if possible; it makes a difference.

Ingredients

  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces Oaxacan cheese or fresh mozzarella, grated (about ½ cup)
  • 8 squash blossoms, stems and stamens removed

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until very soft and golden, 10–12 minutes; season with salt. Transfer to a small bowl and wipe skillet clean.

  • Toast a tortilla in the same skillet over medium-high until golden brown but not crunchy on one side, about 1 minute. Turn tortilla over and scatter one-quarter of cheese over one half of toasted side. Arrange 2 squash blossoms and one-quarter of onion mixture on top of cheese and fold tortilla in half to create a half-moon. Press down on it lightly to help tortilla adhere. Continue cooking, turning once or twice and pressing occasionally, until cheese is melted and tortilla begins to brown and crisp in spots (turn down the heat if needed), about 3 minutes. Transfer quesadilla to a plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese, squash blossoms, and onion mixture to make 3 more quesadillas.

Recipe by La Biznaga, Oaxaca

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 160Fat (g) 11Saturated Fat (g) 3Cholesterol (mg) 5Carbohydrates (g) 13Dietary Fiber (g) 2Total Sugars (g) 1Protein (g) 4Sodium (mg) 20Reviews Section

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Squash blossoms are a rare treat in Mexican cuisine, and fresh ones can be hard to come by. Our canned Squash Blossoms are hand-harvested and canned to preserve their fresh, mild flavor. These simple quesadillas are a great way to showcase their unique taste and texture.


Eating flowers — squash blossom quesadillas

Another Sunday Market in La Cruz and another bunch of squash blossoms too beautiful to eat. I could have looked at their vase on the kitchen counter all week, but eat them we did when I made squash blossom quesadillas for lunch, using fresh corn tortillas, queso fresco from the Sunday market, poblano chile strips and epazote leaves.

Squash — calabaza — were cultivated in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, and then spread throughout the world with the arrival of the Spanish. Classic Mesoamerican clay pots mimic large squash in design, and are still seen in contemporary Mexican art work. We have a beautiful copper pot from Santa Clara del Cobre, hammered into a calabaza form.

Before chopping up the flowers, I inhaled their aroma. They smelled of squash, pumpkin and earth, like a garden. The colorful flowers add a delicate flavor that is easily overpowered, so go light on the onion and garlic. Use whatever cheese you have on hand, but the classic cheese for quesadillas is string cheese from Oaxaca. Today I used fresh cheese from the market, but other possibilities include Muenster, Monterey Jack, or even cheddar.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small bunches squash blossoms, all but 1″of stem removed, chopped enough to measure 2 cups
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
  • 6 oz. cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 epazote leaves (optional)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. Add squash blossoms and garlic, and cook until blossoms are wilted.
  3. Remove from heat and salt to taste.
  4. Heat an oiled griddle over medium heat. Place four tortillas on griddle and evenly divide squash blossom mixture among them. Add strips of poblano chile, thinly sliced cheese, and two epazote leaves to each quesadilla. Cover each one with a second tortilla.
  5. Cook about 3 minutes per side, or until brown, toasty spots appear on the tortillas and the cheese melts.
  6. Cut into halves or quarters and serve hot. (Cold left-overs are delicious.)

North of the border, flour tortillas are often used for quesadillas, but corn tortillas are more common in Mexico.

This may be heresy to a Mexican cook, but building quesadillas in my kitchen is like making a sandwich: anything goes. I have made great quesadillas with left-over brown rice, steamed greens, a bit of steak from last night’s dinner, whatever cheese is on hand, even cottage cheese.

Epazote (Teloxys ambrosioides), also known as Mexican Tea or Wormseed, is a bitter herb used to season black beans, quesadillas and empanadas. A few months ago, I found it in a Mexican market in Minneapolis, and I hear it is becoming more common in U.S. supermarkets that cater to a Hispanic clientele. A native of Mexico, it is not eaten raw, and may be an acquired taste. There is no substitute.

A bit of etymology: calabaza is from the Persian word kharbuz, meaning melon, and the French word calabase, later calabash, is of Spanish origin.


Amy's Cooking Adventures

That sounds wonderful. I've never made my own tortillas.

Oh I am so happy you found some squash blossoms! They are fun to cook with. Love this recipe got to try, and now I am curious to read more on Frida!

I haven't started the book yet but it is on my nook waiting for me after which I will watch the movie. Looking forward to it. I hope I am inspired to make something as fantabulous as your quesadillas.

I have been mildly obsessed with Frida for a while and I will certainly check out Frida's Fiesta. In fact, bet money that I will have it in my Amazon cart soon. I love to eat squash blossom fritters and other dishes but have never made them b/c I hate to pick them off my plants. :) Lovely dish. (Can't wait for September!)

I go crazy when I can get my hands on squash blossoms (and quesadillas with them are my kids fave). This look wonderful! I'm also a big Frida fan, so I'm really looking forward to that month(s)!

I have stuffed and deep-fried squash blossoms when I can find them but I have not tried them in a quesadilla. It looks delicious with the cheese and chili peppers.

I saw the movie Frida years ago and I am looking forward to the upcoming CTB/FnF crossover! -)


Squash Blossom Quesadillas

by ExperiencePlus! - Thursday, June 4, 2020

Along with the bounty of zucchini and yellow squash, the blossoms of these plants are delicate, colorful and oh so delicious. If you do not have a garden, make friends with a gardener or head to your local farmer’s market. But hurry, as squash blossoms are seasonal so you only have a few weeks left to enjoy this favorite recipe.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves of garlic, minced
30 summer squash blossoms
1 teaspoon butter
12 white corn tortillas
8 ounces Oaxaca cheese (a Mexican string cheese) or Monterey jack cheese, sliced
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Prepare the squash blossoms — be sure to check inside for bugs. You shouldn’t have to rinse them unless they seem dusty, or layered with cotton wood seeds, perhaps that’s just a problem here in Fort Collins, Colorado!

Remove the stems and roughly chop the complete blossom including the stamens.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. When hot add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the squash blossoms and toss to coat them with the onions and garlic – cook for another minute, maybe two, but be careful not to overcook, the blossoms should just be wilted. Remove from the heat.

Heat (medium) a large cast iron or non-stick skillet and rub a little butter (just enough to add a little flavor) in the pan.

Place a tortilla and heat both sides until bubbles begin to form in the tortilla.

Add a slice or two of cheese and a tablespoon of the squash blossom mixture. Use a spatula to fold the tortilla and press down – cook until the cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned on both sides.

To serve cut each quesadilla in triangles and top with your favorite salsa, and fresh cilantro.


Squash Blossom, Poblano and Cheese Quesadillas

These indulgent, traditional little turnovers get their special crisp texture from deep-frying masa made from instant corn flour. If you don't have a tortilla press or want to make the dough, you can use store-bought tortillas for something closer to the familiar griddled quesadilla Americans and Mexicans alike adore. If you use 6-inch store-bought corn tortillas, the same amount of filling will make 12 quesadillas.

Servings: 6
Ingredients
Directions

To prepare the poblano peppers, place them on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill or directly on the open flame. Turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 8 minutes, until they are charred and blistered all over.

Transfer them to a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them cool for 10 to 20 minutes.

Working under a thin stream of cold water, peel off each pepper's skin, make a slit down each side to remove and discard the seeds and veins, and remove and discard the stem. Cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Combine the butter and oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. When the oil has melted, add the onion and garlic cook about 5 minutes, stirring, until soft and translucent.

Add the prepared poblano peppers, the squash blossoms and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the blossom juices exude their juices and then the mixture begins to dry out. Remove from the heat.

If using premade tortillas: Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 10 to 15 seconds per side, so they will not break when you fold them. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the squash flower/poblano mix on half of a tortilla. Fold it in half and press down. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, until cheese is completely melted and tortilla is slightly crisped.

If using homemade masa, place 1/4 cup of the water in a large mixing bowl add the corn flour and remaining water in several additions, stirring with a wooden spoon. Knead the dough for a few minutes to rid it of any lumps, adding a little water if it feels too dry. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel.

Meanwhile, cut circles from a resealable plastic food storage bag and use them to line a tortilla press. Line a platter with several layers of paper towels.

Heat enough oil to measure 2 inches deep in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil reaches 375 degrees, make the quesadillas: Divide the dough into 1-inch balls. Take a ball and place it on top of the plastic on the bottom side of the press, top with another layer of plastic and press down to make a flat disk.

Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese and 2 tablespoons of the filling at the center of the dough disk and, leaving it in the plastic, fold it over and press to seal the edges. Repeat to form the rest of the quesadillas, using all the dough and filling.

Carefully add a few quesadillas at a time to the hot oil, making sure to not crowd the skillet. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning as needed. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the paper-towel-lined platter to drain.


Squash BlossomQuesadilla

The Mexican food also has its exotic side because even the flowers are served on the table, forming part of some delicious dishes. This is the living proof that the Mexican cuisine is vast and very creative.

– We know that it sounds weird to eat flowers, but don’t worry as the squash blossoms are perfectly edible and very tasty . In fact they form part of the traditional Mexican cuisine and they are also very present in the Italian cuisine.

In this recipe first a filling of squash blossom with epazote and onion is cooked. Then the filling is put on maize tortillas together with cheese. This combination gives as a result, the quesadillas with the most natural, fresh and delicate flavor that you have tasted .

The squash blossom quesadillas can be enjoyed as breakfast , you can also serve them as appetizer or you can prepare a divine dish of squash blossom quesadillas with nopal cactus salad and refried beans. A real beauty!


Squash Blossom Quesadillas for Lunch, or How to Eat Flowers

The other day at the grocery store I saw the freshest squash blossom flowers, known in Spanish as Flor de Calabaza. I bought a small bunch of the golden blooms, remembering that the classic treatment in Mexico for squash blossoms is as a filling in quesadillas. Quesadillas are flour or corn tortillas with a variety of fillings, including cheese, usually Oaxaca String Cheese. Squash blossom quesadillas are one of Mexico’s gift to the world.

This is another dish for which it is hard to give a recipe. It’s as easy as making a sandwich, and, indeed, this could be called one of the sandwiches of Mexico. Here is the simple recipe: take two tortillas, top one with sautéed vegetables, then with thinly sliced or grated cheese. Place the second tortilla on top, and cook in a hot pan until the cheese is melted. That’s it.

I often make quesadillas using left-over vegetables from dinner the day before — creamed spinach, steamed beet greens, sautéed yellow squash with onion. The vegetable list is endless. The cheese list is close to endless. While the true Mexicano may blanch, there’s no reason that Swiss cheese or cheddar, or any cheese you have on hand, could not be used. When I’m in a quesadilla mood, I have been known to rummage through the fridge, pulling out left-over brown rice, shredded roast chicken breast, fresh spinach leaves, sliced mushrooms. Quesadillas are a good thing to make when you clean out the fridge, akin to making clean-the-fridge soup. If you use squash blossoms, keep in mind that they have a delicate flavor that is easily overwhelmed by more strongly flavored ingredients. For squash blossom quesadillas, the ingredient list is short.

Squash blossoms are common in Mexican markets in the interior of the country, although I don’t see them very often in the coastal area where I live. One day, a man came to our gate selling a bag of beautiful, fresh blossoms. The bag was the size of a small pillow, and I bought all he had for about three dollars. It was a culinary treasure, to be enjoyed in quesadillas, scrambled eggs and stuffed with cheese. The flower color varies from bright yellow to pumpkin orange. If I could bear not to eat them all, they would make an interesting floral arrangement in a vase on the kitchen counter. I’ll have to buy extra next time, just to enjoy them visually.

Roast poblano chiles and cut into strips. (Refer to my past post Chiles en Nogada if you need a refresher course on how to roast chiles.) Set aside.

In Mexico, strips of roasted poblano chiles cooked with onion are called rajas.

Sauté chopped squash blossoms with some sliced onion and minced garlic in a bit of olive oil.

Lightly oil a griddle with vegetable oil and heat until medium hot. Place tortillas on griddle divide squash blossoms, poblano strips and cheese among tortillas.

Top each quesadilla with another tortilla and cook until cheese is melted and tortillas begin to have brown, toasty spots. Cut in halves or quarters, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with fresh salsa. You may want to enjoy your squash blossom quesadillas with a cold, Mexican beer, such as Pacifico or Corona.


Squash Blossom Quesadillas: crispy, melty deliciousness

When I see baskets of squash blossoms at the farmers market I am instantly entranced. They are so lovely and delicate. I want to make a bouquet of them and use it as a centerpiece for some elegant but relaxed outdoor summer dinner party.

Except I&rsquove never actually hosted a dinner party like that. And I don&rsquot have much need for vegetables that are strictly decorative.

And when I think about what to actually cook with squash blossoms I tend to run out of ideas quickly. Most preparations I&rsquove seen involve stuffing them and dipping them in batter and deep frying them.

And as much as I love taking on insane cooking projects, I have my limits. I&rsquom just not going to deep fry anything for a weeknight meal.

Usually when I bring home a basket of squash blossoms, I have good intentions about figuring out some other way of using them, and a week later, I find them shriveled and sad and toss them out.

But this time I had a plan. I had seen these quesadillas from Kimberley Hasselbrink&rsquos Vibrant Food featured on Leite&rsquos Culinaria and I had a squash blossom epiphany.

Here was a way to get a squash blossom with all the wonderful melty gooey cheese wrapped in a crisp outer layer without needing a vat of hot oil or hours of assembly.

Half of a petite corn tortilla gets sprinkled with some shredded cheese and bits of jalapeño and a pair of squash blossoms are placed on top.

Then the whole thing goes into a hot skillet with a little oil, the unadorned half of tortilla gets folded over and pressed against the melty cheese while the tortilla gets wonderfully crisp and browned in spots.

Topped with a bit of salsa and avocado, these are an incredibly easy little dish with a great balance of textures and flavors, and some pretty squash blossoms peaking out of the top.

I&rsquom pretty sure squash blossoms were born to be in quesadillas. Or at least that&rsquos what&rsquos happening with them in my kitchen.


  • 12 squash blossoms*
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • ½ pound shredded quesillo Oaxaca cheese (Cacique brand is good) or Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ medium white onion, sliced very thinly, vertically, and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 serrano chile finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped epazote leaves or substitute cilantro
  • 4 limes, preferably Mexican/key if possible

Preheat griddle to medium. Clean each blossom by removing any sharp green sepals at the base and snap off the stem. Rinse lightly and delicately blot dry.

Place as many corn tortillas on the ungreased griddle as possible without overlapping. Generously sprinkle each with shredded cheese, keeping cheese away from the edge. Scatter 2 squash blossoms, onion slices, some chile, and epazote overthe cheese. Place another corn tortilla on top, press together with a spatula, and cook, turning, until the cheese melts and is stringy and gooey.