Quesadilla with Pico de Gallo
Yucca (Yucca elephantipes): This exotic member of the Lily family, a native of the American Southwest, is also known as Spanish Bayonet. Native Americans and inhabitants of Latin America incorporate yucca in a number of dishes. The distinctive, cream-colored bells of the towering plant burst into bloom in temperate climate zones in late summer. Raw petals add a light, exotic crunch to a stir-fry. If you have traveled to southern France or to Italy, you have probably sampled mild flavored zucchini blossoms (Cucurbita pepo species and cultivars) stuffed or deep-fried. Whole zucchini blossoms make a colorful addition to frittatas or quiches. Sliced thin, both yucca and zucchini blossoms are unusual additions to a cheesy quesadilla. This addictive pico de gallo is inspired by the one served at the famed Rancho La Puerta spa in Tecate, Baja California.
Total TimeUnder 30 minutes
- Pico De Gallo:
- 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cilantro leaves, minced
- 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- For the Quesadilla:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or more as needed
- 1 small tomato, finely diced
- 1 green onion, white part only, finely diced
- 2 zucchini blossoms, sliced into thin strips
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium flour tortilla
- Grated Monterey Jack cheese or goat cheese crumbles
To make the pico de gallo, combine all the pico de gallo ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
To make the quesadilla, heat the oil in a medium skillet and sauté the tomato and green onion until soft. Add the zucchini blossom strips or yucca petals, and cook 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet. Fill the tortilla with the flower mixture and cheese, fold in half, and place in the skillet. Hold shut with a spatula until the bottom of the tortilla turns golden. Quickly flip, and brown the other side. Or microwave the quesadilla on high for 30 seconds. Serve immediately with the pico de gallo and, if desired, a dollop of sour cream and guacamole.
Copyright Kitty Morse, 2015