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Flor De Calabaza Quesadillas

Flor De Calabaza Quesadillas

My mom calls herself a chilanga. The word—slang for a person from Mexico City—is rejected by some, but she owns it. She is, her mom was, her mom's mom was.

I grew up almost exclusively in the United States, where my mom revealed her past in Mexico City like a treasure map. Strange foods and objects would appear on the table or on the kitchen with a sense of mystery, like relic's rescued by Indiana Jones.

One of these memories that is particularly vivid is the flor de calabaza (squash blossom). When I was 10, I came home from school and saw my mom in the kitchen. I walked over to her and saw flowers on the cutting board. I touched the petals and inspected the blossoms, but it seemed like an alien experience. "Are we going to eat these", I asked, bewilderedly. And we did. 

We had them occasionally from that point on, especially when they were in season, but the flor de calabaza always captivated my imagination. It felt like a secret expression of the chilanga culture that I never experienced, but was in my DNA. The flavor itself is slightly alien too. The squash blossom is more savory and deep than you would expect a flower to be. The flavor comes close to the squash itself, but it has a delicacy that is unique. Every bite reveals additional layers. The recipe below is for the quesadillas that my mom would cook for us in Laredo (with a Siete twist).

 

Flor de Calabaza Quesadillas

15 Minutes
Serves 4

 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Oaxaca Cheese
  • 1/2 Yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 15 Flor de Calabaza (cut stems off, discard, then roughly chop flowers)
  • 6 Siete Foods Almond Flour Tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp of Avocado oil

Steps

  1. Cook yellow diced onion for 5-6 minutes (until sweating) in a pan on medium heat
  2. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute on medium heat
  3. Add chopped Flor de Calabaza and coat it with the onion and garlic for 30 seconds on medium heat.
  4. Heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the Siete Foods almond flour tortillas (work in batches).
  5. Add Oaxaca cheese, vegetables, and flowers on one side of the tortilla, then close and pat down with a spatula.
  6. Cook quesadilla until lightly browned on both sides.

Tip: Do not wash the Flor de Calabaza, as they will fall apart under water. Instead, check for any debris in the flowers and dust them off with a finger or use a lightly dampened paper towel for problem areas.