Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Squash Blossom Season!

I have been wanting to cook with squash blossoms for a while now, but in previous years, the opportunity has slipped past while I wondered how to cook them.

he loves me not...he loves me!
This year I had the perfect inspiration from my friend Katie, whose husband is from Mexico, when she told me he has been hankering for squash blossom quesadillas for years.

Step 1: pick some squash blossoms!  Or zucchini blossoms, or pumpkin blossoms....  If you get to them before about 11am, they might be lovely and open like the picture to the left.  After noon, they close up shop for the day, but they are still good to eat.  (I had a mix of open and closed.  Several of the closed ones had bees trapped inside, and I watched in amazement as one trapped bee repeatedly poked his stinger through the petals!  I guess I'd be mad too if someone woke me up when I was sleeping in a flower...)

I sauteed onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and then added a pile of shredded flowers and a handful of chopped fresh Epazote.  (This was the first time I have cooked with epazote, having seen the word in print and wondered about it many times...  it was at my nearby Latino market near the cilantro.  It's a very different flavor and REALLY GOOD in quesadilla filling!)  This picture was taken soon after adding the flowers; when they are done in a couple minutes they look much less like flowers.


Ok, really they are kind of grey, I know.

But I was excited.

Queso de Oazaca, a nice melty mexican cheese.
Start with one tortilla in the hot pan for 30 seconds or so, then flip it over.  Add a handful of blossom filling and a handful of cheese, then cover it up with another tortilla.  Flip it when it's melty enough to hold together and grill the other side a little.
While the quesadillas are cooking, enjoy a bottle of my favorite Puerto Rican pop, Malta India!  I am not much of a pop drinker, but I love Malta India, and always buy it when I visit a market that carries it!  The flavor is different, but it grows on you.
I make gallons of fresh garden salsa, ferment it slightly (a la Traditional Foods, Nourishing Traditions, etc, if you are into that) and then we eat it like it's going out of style for a couple months.  This batch appears to have some avocado bits in it - heaven!  (I add the avocado right before serving)
Now I know- heaven is watching the chickens over a dinner of squash blossom quesadillas and Malta India.

Hell is when the chickens start jumping into your lap and stealing your food.

!Buen Provecho!

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