Would You Care to Try Some Squash Blossoms?


WHEN the squash plants blossom, the vegetable garden looks more like a flower garden. The graceful yellow flower​—of an elegant, simple design—​does not perfume the air, but it certainly makes our mouth water. Do we mean that people actually eat flowers? Yes. In fact, according to the journal Cuadernos de Nutrición, it can be said that Mexico is the country in which the greatest number of recipes include flowers.

As for the squash blossom, it has been eaten here for centuries. Of the many varieties of squash, probably the flower of the zucchini is the one most used for food. But we have to be careful to use only the male flowers if we want to enjoy the vegetable too. We simply look at the stem. The appearance of a tiny squash on it means that we have a female flower in our hands and that we had better not pick it.

The mild flavor of the squash blossom combines well with a variety of dishes. Often, we sauté some garlic and onion and perhaps some hot peppers. When all of this is seasoned and the garlic is transparent, we add some washed and chopped blossoms from which we have removed the stems. We then cover the mixture and let it simmer for a few minutes. Zucchini cut into cubes, fresh maize grains, a little butter, and aromatic herbs can also be added along with the blossoms. We put this mixture on an uncooked tortilla and fold it. Then, we let the tortilla cook on the griddle, producing a delicious squash-blossom quesadilla.

Our quesadilla is not only good tasting but also nutritious, since the squash blossom contains small quantities of protein, calcium, iron, thiamine, niacin, ascorbic acid, and retinol.

We also make a delicious soup with this flower. We simply follow the procedure above, add some broth, and then serve it hot. We may garnish it with some cheese and fried tortilla strips.

Many other dishes can be prepared with this versatile flower. So why not create a squash-blossom dish? You will love it!