Squash blossom quesadillas. Such an easy way to use up your garden surplus compared to stuffing, battering, and frying the delicate little flowers. And the delicate taste is so, so lovely.
Where To Find Squash Blossoms
If you grow zucchini or any variety of summer squash in your garden, then chances are you already know that you can pluck the squash blossoms from the vine and use them in all manner of lovely things in the kitchen. No garden? No problem. You can also find squash blossoms at some farmers markets and specialty grocery stores during summer. They tend to be a little pricey. But worth the splurge.
Squash Blossom Quesadillas
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 25 M
- Makes 6
Carefully look over each squash blossom and brush off any dirt or small bugs you find. Carefully trim the stems and stamens. Resist the urge to wash the squash blossoms. They’re quite delicate and will easily tear and potentially fall apart.
Warm a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan over medium heat. Place 1 tortilla in the warm pan and heat, turning once, for about 15 seconds on each side to soften. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, and some pepper on half the tortilla. Place 2 squash blossoms on top of the cheese, arranging the flower petals at the edge of the tortilla so they peek out slightly. Fold the tortilla in half and press down lightly with a spatula. Cook for about 1 minute, then flip and cook the other side for 1 minute more, until the tortilla is thoroughly warmed and the cheese has melted.
Transfer the quesadilla to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat to make 5 more squash blossom quesadillas. Serve warm.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This utterly delightful squash blossom quesadillas recipe is the epitome of fine garden-to-table eating. We're always searching for new ways to use the lovely squash blossoms in our vegetable garden—we've already, of course, tried them fried, in pasta, in frittatas, on pizza, yet we never thought to add them to a simple quesadilla. With their delicate flavor and nature, the squash blossoms melted ever-so-slightly into the pepper Jack cheese. I actually decided to use 8-inch whole wheat tortillas for this recipe instead of corn tortillas, but I think either would go very well with the spicy cheese and the fresh cilantro. I could also see adding sautéed yellow squash to this dish, just to accentuate the squash flavor from the blossoms themselves--or substituting basil for the cilantro for a different feel). The cooking time and recipe instructions were right on--just 1 minute per side is all you need to melt the cheese and warm everything through.
I really zeroed in on this squash blossom quesadillas recipe when I saw a way to use squash blossoms that did NOT involve stuffing or frying them. All my previous attempts at stuffing squash blossoms with ricotta, chevre, herbed cheese mixtures, etc., yielded no winners. I always seemed to tear the flower or fail to seal it, so I ended up with a tasty but leaky, sad, messy result. So I usually just sighed when I saw beautiful blossoms at the farmers' market.
But this approach is a game changer. It keeps all the fresh and delicate flavor of the zucchini while not risking waterlogged squash slices. It's a weeknight-friendly or even brunch-friendly recipe that you can riff on in so many ways. I made it twice, once using organic corn tortillas (about 5 inches) and the next morning using some sprouted corn tortillas (same size). Both yielded good results, though the sprouted ones were a little more brittle. It's a vegetarian-friendly recipe that's nice for entertaining. No extra heat really needed. Try not to forget the ground pepper because it does add to the complexity of the heat. The cilantro was very roughly chopped, and I was generous with it because I love cilantro.
Using a cast-iron skillet, I found that I could start one quesadilla, fold it over, and have (just enough) room for starting the next quesadilla. If you had a larger griddle, you could cook more at once. I had a warm serving dish in the oven, and the squash blossom quesadillas held very well. I could finish 6 quesadillas in 12 to 15 minutes. If a bit of the cheese falls out and crisps in the pan, consider that a tip for the cook. Don’t worry about cheese oozing out or the petals hitting the pan—a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is your friend and, as such, the ingredients won't stick.
If your squash blossoms are really pretty and fresh, they may come with a fan club of tiny ants. Don’t despair if you have to resort to gently rinsing the squash blossoms with water to remove all the creatures. As long as you blot the blossoms as dry as possible, you'll be fine.
If you had a bumper crop of blossoms from your garden, you could make little street-taco size ones using just one blossom or smallish ones—a great party item and you could set up an outdoor station and use your pan on the grill.
I'm thrilled to finally have a way to enjoy squash blossoms—this has all the hints of zucchini in a lovely form, and who doesn’t love melted cheese and toasted corn flavors? My testers praised them for their “minimal manipulation of the ingredients." Just like that, squash blossoms are back on the market list!