Squash Blossom Quesadilla for One

While I was growing up, my grandmother would put an array of leftovers on the dinner table on an almost weekly basis and announce, “Well, that’s it. If we don’t eat this tonight, I’m throwing it out.” More accurately, these were leftover leftovers on their third or fourth warming: maybe the end of a meatloaf, a small bowl of spaghetti, a serving of beef stew and perhaps a piece of Hungarian liver/rice sausage called hurka that I’d successfully avoided during its previous servings.

There are some recipes of my grandmother’s I don’t re-create—hurka, for example—but she did instill the importance of not wasting food. Somehow, I’m even more vigilant about not throwing out leftovers or ingredients, to the point of eccentricity. Or at least to the point of embarrassing my boyfriend, who shakes his head at the collection of pepper and salt packets that come with Hale & Hearty spoons. I always ask for restaurant leftovers to be boxed up, including French fries. And I refuse to let two squash blossoms from this week’s CSA half-share to go to waste. Most recipes call for at least a dozen, but this quesadilla recipe gave me an idea to use up some ingredients in the fridge.—Josie Rubio

{Recipe after the jump}

While I don’t profess that this is a gourmet creation, it turned out pretty well, mostly due to the use of my boyfriend’s tomatillo salsa made with CSA tomatillos, similar to Adrienne McIlvaine’s Salsa Verde. I used my squash blossoms, some corn tortillas and leftover cheddar cheese from last week’s corn soup. I also cut up a jalapeño that was not only old and deemed unfit for use by my boyfriend, but that actually looked elderly, wrinkling and puckering here and there. (I really don’t like to waste food.)

You really can use anything you might have in the quesadilla, including onions, prepared salsas, hot sauce, leftover chicken, black beans and CSA tomatoes or tomatillos. I was tempted to boil my CSA ear of corn and add the kernels from that to my quesadilla, but I was too hungry to wait.

Squash Blossom Quesadilla for One

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 squash blossoms
  • A few sprigs of cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, deseeded
  • 2 tortillas (flour or corn)
  • 1/8 to ¼ cup shredded cheese: Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons tomatillo salsa
  • Any other vaguely Mexican ingredients you feel like adding

Directions

1. Chop the squash blossoms, cilantro and jalapeño. (Plus whatever other vegetables you might include.)

2. Place chopped veggies on a tortilla, with cheese and salsa. Place other tortilla on top.

3. Put in toaster oven, on toast setting for a few minutes. Or melt a teaspoon of butter on a skillet, and warm each side until cheese is melted, about three minutes total.

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