Since making a full recovery, my weekends are super busy with events, and I barely have time to catch up on household chores, running errands… and this blog. These days, my priority is to have fun outdoors to make up for being indoors during the summer solstice. I’m searching and creating recipes with prepping and cooking times totaling less than an hour. This fast and simple quesadilla recipe is long overdue as I’m hoping zucchini flowers are still on the market.
The last time I made zucchini flowers, they were fried (see recipe here). These flowers were randomly picked up when a friend and I drove to Long Island to visit lavender fields, and we stopped by a couple produce roadside stands. Since making these Zucchini Flower Quesadillas, I’ve made several versions–including one with scrambled egg for breakfast. Quesadillas can be quickly assembled and cooked in a searing hot skillet for a weekday evening or a busy weekend meal.
Here’s my cheating hint: I used store-bought, jarred enchilada sauce. Yep. There’s no time to make a fancy sauce from scratch, because my priority isn’t about being a kitchen for a long periods of time. The ingredient label was read to make sure it was sans or had limited amounts of chemical preservatives. However, if you want an enchilada sauce recipe, get it here. Of course, the jarred sauce was improved with the addition of sauteed vegetables.
With Zucchini Flower Quesadillas, there’s less time in a kitchen and more fun in the summer sun. I hope you’re enjoying the summer sun, too.
- 4 to 6 zucchini flowers
- Olive oil; as needed
- ¼ cup minced red onions
- 1 jalapeno pepper; seeded and minced
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves; minced
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper; as needed
- Crushed red pepper; as needed/optional
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ cup enchilada sauce (store-bought or homemade... recipe here)
- 2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves; roughly chopped
- 2 flour tortillas (this recipe used whole wheat tortillas); 6 to 8 inches in diameter
- ½ cup finely shredded Queso Fresco cheese
- Spinach leaves; as needed
- To clean zucchini flowers: Gently rinse zucchini flowers to clear of the occasional tiny bug and dirt. Remove and discard the stamen and filament with with the stem and outer tiny green leaves surrounding the yellow/orange petals. Roughly chiffonade the zucchini flowers. Set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot (not burning or turning brown), add the onions and jalapeno pepper, and mix the vegetables until they start to soften for about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in garlic for about 20 seconds. Season with salt, black pepper, red pepper and paprika. Add enchilada sauce and bring to a simmer. Mix in zucchini flowers and oregano. When the zucchini flower starts to wilt, turn off the heat. Remove skillet from the stove and set aside.
- In another skillet, preferably a black/iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until just warm. Add one tortilla to the warm skillet. Working quickly, sprinkle a little of queso fresco cheese over one half of the tortilla away from about half an inch from the edge. Spoon half the Zucchini flower sauce over the cheese. Layer with a few spinach leaves. Top with more queso fresco cheese. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling. Using a spatula flatten the quesadilla and quickly flip it over to sear the other side. After 5 to 10 seconds, remove quesadilla to a plate.
- Garnish with a little queso fresco cheese and black pepper.
Serves 2 as a meal with a salad; Serves 4 as an appetizer. Easily increase ingredients to make more. Adjust spices and vegetables according to enchilada sauce. Easily increase ingredients to make more. Adjust spices and vegetables according to enchilada sauce.