Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Squash blossoms are abundant in Mexico, where they are known as flores de calabaza. There’s something very satisfying about the combination of the mildly sweet, squash-y blossoms with creamy cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

24 squash blossoms, stems and stamens removed
1 poblano pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1 teaspoon of dried epazote*
3 cups of Oaxacan, Monterey Jack or Muenster cheese, grated
12 tortillas (corn or flour, your preference)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

*If you cannot locate epazote, you can substitute 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

METHOD:

Place the poblano pepper under the broiler for about five minutes, turning once until it blackens. Place in a plastic bag, close it and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Remove poblano from the bag, peel it (skin should shred off easily), remove stem and seeds and dice.

Gently rinse inside and outside of the squash blossom, and remove stems and stamens. Roughly chop.

Heat skillet to medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions and diced poblano and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Add garlic, epazote, squash blossoms and salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 10 minutes or until all the liquid from the flowers has evaporated. Remove from heat and set squash-blossom filling aside.

In a heated skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter. Add a tortilla and cook it on one side until it puffs (about 30 seconds).

Flip tortilla over and sprinkle over entire surface 1/4 cup of squash blossom filling and 1/2 cup of grated cheese.

Top with another tortilla, and after cheese has melted and the two tortillas stick together (a couple of minutes), flip quesadilla and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Repeat for the remainder of the filling and tortillas.

YIELD: Makes six quesadillas.

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe by Diana Kennedy