Edible Squash Blossoms
Did you know that squash blossoms are edible? They are and they’re super delicious! In Mexican cuisine flor de calabaza are often used in making quesadillas.
There are so many edible flowers out there, and sadly many of us aren’t even aware of them. Like did you know that there are many types of edible roses? We are surely missing out on lots of deliciousness.
Today I’d like to share with you a flower that is gorgeous to look at and oh so delectable inside of an ooey gooey quesadilla.
How to Harvest Squash Blossoms for Eating
When zucchini blossoms are harvested it’s always the male flowers which are chosen.
The male flowers pollinate the female ones in order for the females to produce their fruit, or zucchini in this case. If you grow your own zucchini and can tell the difference between them you can harvest the males and use them in any culinary need.
Where to Buy Flor de Calabaza (zucchini blossoms)
If you don’t garden don’t worry because you can find zucchini blossoms at farmers markets, specialty stores and at Mexican food stores.
The summer season is when they’re more readily available. Usually they are inexpensive. But of course this depends on where you live and how good the harvest was.
If you’re lucky to be visiting Mexico also look for them in the late autumn to early winter months.
How are Zucchini Blossoms Eaten
In Mexican cuisine perhaps the most popular way to eat flor de calabaza is in quesadillas. But they’re also used in soups.
What do Zucchini Blossoms Taste Like
Flor de calabaza (or zucchini flowers) are very delicate and they have a mild earthy taste. It can be described a bit like the earthy flavors of other greens.
That so-called earthiness pairs perfectly with cheese and many other ingredients.
How to Prepare Flor de Calabaza for Eating
Before you can eat squash blossoms they need some preparation. Below is my guide on how to prep zucchini blossoms to eat in any of your favorite dishes.
These flowers are very fragile and I highly suggest not taking them out of the fridge until right before using. Also, try to cook them the same day they were purchased.
Grab one blossom and very carefully begin to rip off the little furry green stems that go all the way around the blossom.
Now ever so gently rip the blossom down towards the stem, use your fingers to rip it off and separate it from the stem and the centre bud that holds the pollen.
Discard the stem and set the separated blossom aside, repeat until all of the flowers have been prepared.
Rinse them under slow running water. Then place on top of paper towels to drain off all the excess water. Once dry chop, the blossoms into large even-sized pieces and set aside until ready to use
How to Make Squash Blossom Quesadillas
To make quesadillas de flor de calabaza you can use either of the following two methods.
Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza with Masa Dough
To make the tortillas you can purchase masa or corn dough from your local tortilleria. Or you can of course also make your own masa using a bag of Maseca. You can use white, yellow or even blue corn masa. It really doesn’t matter.
So the difference here is that you first need to buy or prep the masa, make the tortillas then proceed with making your quesadilla. These types of quesadillas are definitely more flavorful, but they require more time.
Squash Blossom Quesadillas The Easy Way
The easiest way to make zucchini blossom quesadillas is using corn tortillas you’ve already purchased. Then it’s just a matter of heating it up, melting cheese on to it, then adding the flor de calabaza.
What Cheese is Best for Quesadillas
For a good quesadilla you need a cheese that melts well and has lots of delicious flavor.
But if you can’t find either, my other choices are Chihuahua or even manchego cheese. They both melt and have great flavors.
How to Make Easy Squash Blossom Quesadillas
The easiest way is of course to use corn tortillas you’ve purchased. Grab some Oaxaca cheese and shred it. Prep the blossoms as instructed above. Warm the tortillas on a hot comal, add cheese and allow to melt then place some flor de calabaza onto the cheese, fold and enjoy.
If you want to crank the flavors up a notch you can add some onion, garlic and chile to the mix. You’ll not only create a more flavorful quesadilla, but it’ll also go a longer way than just the blossoms.
Check out my recipe below for instructions.
Flor de Calabaza Quesadillas (Squash Blossom Quesadillas Recipe)
- 2 bunches of zucchini blossoms mine were a total of 18 flowers, but since they wilt the more the better
- 6 regular-sized corn tortillas
- around 300 grams 10 oz of Oaxaca cheese pulled apart into strands*
- one large jalapeño or one whole habanero pepper for extra heat finely chopped** (optional)
- 1/4 medium onion finely chopped
- two whole cloves of garlic finely minced
- one Tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil of choice
- fine sea salt to taste
- salsa of choice for serving**
Prepare the Zucchini Blossoms:
- These flowers are very fragile and I highly suggest not taking them out of the fridge until right before using — also, try to cook them the same day they were purchased.
- Grab one blossom and very carefully begin to rip off the little furry green stems that go all the way around the blossom. Now ever so gently rip the blossom down towards the stem, use your fingers to rip it off and separate it from the stem and the centre bud that holds the pollen. Discard the stem and set the separated blossom aside, repeat until all of the flowers have been prepared.
- Rinse them under slow running water then place on top of paper towels to drain off all the excess water. Once dry chop the blossoms into large even-sized pieces and set aside.
Prepare the Quesadillas:
- Make sure that you have everything ready to go and that you heat up a griddle or a large pan to cook the quesadillas.
- In a separate pan heat the oil and once hot add the onion, cook until soften before adding the chopped pepper bits and the minced garlic. Drizzle a little bit of fine sea salt over the ingredients and cook until everything is soft, once that is the case you can add the chopped zucchini blossoms and saute just until wilted. Turn heat off and set aside.
- Heat up the griddle or large clean pan over medium heat, and once it is hot place one corn tortilla on it. Allow to cook for a minute, flip it over and add some Oaxaca cheese to one half of the tortilla — you can add as much or as little cheese as you’d like. When the cheese has begun melting spoon in a tablespoon or so of the zucchini blossom mixture, carefully fold the empty half of the tortilla over the filled half. Allow the quesadilla to cook for another minute or so to allow the cheese to thoroughly melt. The whole cooking process should only take 5 to 8 minutes. Serve the quesadillas with your favourite Mexican salsa.
I hope you get the opportunity to taste the squash blossom stuffed quesadillas, they are amazing and make a fantastic lunch.
You are going to love how the mild flowers taste with the creaminess of the cheese, the slight sweetness of the onion and garlic, and the zestiness of the chile pepper.