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Grilled Quesadillas with Mozzarella and Squash Blossoms

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 16 large or 24 small squash blossoms
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 small avocado, ripe but firm
  • 4 flour tortillas, 9 inches in diameter
  • ½ pound low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • Grilled Tomatillo Salsa (recipe on page 9 of Sur La Table’s Everyday Grilling book)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Procedures:

Squash blossoms vary greatly in size depending on whether they come from zucchini or from winter squash. You can use small or large ones here. Some farmers sell baby zucchini with blossoms still attached. For this recipe, twist off the blossoms and reserve the zucchini for another dish.

Prepare a moderate charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium (375°F). Tear the squash blossoms in half lengthwise and inspect for ants. Dunk the blossoms in a large bowl of cold water, swish well, then lift them out into a sieve or colander to drain. Pat dry. If the blossom halves are large, tear each one lengthwise into two or three pieces.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over moderately low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and oregano, crumbling the herb between your fingers as you add it. Sauté until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the squash blossoms, season with salt, and cook, stirring to coat them with the seasonings, just until the blossoms begin to soften, about 1 minute. Do not let them wilt.

Halve and pit the avocado. With a large spoon, scoop both halves out of the peel in one piece and put, cut side down, on a cutting board. Slice thinly lengthwise.

Brush one side of a flour tortilla with canola oil, then place it, oiled side down, on a rimless baking sheet. Top ½ of the tortilla with ¼ of the cheese, then with ¼ of the squash blossom mixture. Fold like a turnover. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Slide the folded tortillas onto the grill directly over the coals or gas flame. Cook until browned on the bottom, about 1 minute, then turn and grill until the quesadilla browns on the second side and the cheese melts, about 1 minute longer.

Top each quesadilla with a drizzle of salsa, a few slices of avocado, and a sprinkling of cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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