Published: 07/23/2013 - Updated: 06/17/2016
Author: Nayeli Reyes5 Comments
The pumpkin blossom, which is native to the Americas and most especially Mexico, has been used in cooking since pre-Hispanic times. This delightful flower must be collected before its fruit (pumpkin) starts to grow and should be cooked as soon as possible because it does not last long before wilting.
Pumpkin flowers can be eaten raw in salads and cooked with other vegetables, as well as steamed. They contain plenty of water and little fat, are rich in phosphorus and calcium which are both highly recommended for children or people with osteoporosis, and the best part is that they are delicious!
Here are some great recipes using pumpkin blossoms which are easy to prepare:
Pumpkin Blossom Tacos
- 6 cups of pumpkin blossoms (washed)
- Green serrano chilies to taste
- Cooking Oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped onion
- 1 sprig of epazote
- Salt to taste
- 12 tortillas
- 1 cup of tomato puree
- 1 cup of evaporated milk
- 1 cup of grated cheese
- Butter (sufficient amount)
- Preheat oven to medium heat.
- Chop the pumpkin blossoms and serrano peppers.
- Heat a little oil in a pan.
- Add the pumpkin blossoms, Serrano chile, onion, epazote and salt.
- Cover the pan and cook over a low heat without water. When the pumpkin blossom is cooked and dry, turn off the heat.
- Heat enough oil in another pan.
- Put tortillas in hot oil one by one without letting them brown.
- Stuff tortillas with the pumpkin blossom stew, roll up and place into a buttered/greased baking dish.
- Separately, fry the tomato paste in a little hot oil.
- Add milk, and cook a little. Pour over the tacos in the dish. Serve hot and fresh.
Pumpkin Blossom Soup
- 50 g of butter
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 kilo of pumpkin blossoms, stems removed, washed and chopped
- 450 grams of courgette (zucchini) with corn, cooked
- 1 litre of water
- 3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder
- ¼ litre of fresh cream
- 250 grams of panela cheese, chopped
- 5 corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried
- 3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced
- Melt butter over a medium heat.
- Add onion and fry until translucent.
- Add the pumpkin blossoms and zucchini with corn. Mix to incorporate all ingredients.
- Add the water and season with chicken bouillon powder. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cream, stirring well.
- Serve in bowls with fresh cheese, fried tortillas and poblano chile strips.
Pumpkin blossom quesadillas
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- 1/4 onion
- 1/2 kilo of corn dough
- 50 gr of margarine
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 sprig of epazote
- 1/2 kilo of fresh pumpkin blossoms
- 1/4 pint of cream
- 1/2 romaine lettuce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil
- Wash the pumpkin blossoms, remove the centre and chop finely into strips.
- Fry the onion, epazote and tomatoes with oil in a pan.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat.
- Simultaneously, heat butter until melted and later add to the dough in a bowl.
- Beat vigorously until dough is manageable, you can add water if necessary, add salt and pepper.
- Form small balls and extend either in a tortilla machine or with a rolling pin to form medium-sized circles to put the pumpkin blossom mix inside.
- Fill the tortillas and press the edges to enclose the filling.
- Fry in a pan with oil or can be cooked in a griddle.
- Serve with shredded lettuce and salsa to taste.
Pumpkin Blossoms stuffed with cheese
- 15 pumpkin blossoms
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of wheat flour or rice flour
- 1/3 kilo of cheese
- oil for frying (approx. between 1/4 and 1/2 litre)
- Rinse the flowers, handling them very carefully so as not to damage them.
- Cut the stems off and pull out the center.
- Extend the flowers on paper towels; place another paper towel on top and roll it gently to dry the flowers.
- Unroll and re-extend them. In a bowl beat the egg with water using a fork.
- Cut cheese into strips about an inch wide and the length needed to fill the cavity of the flower without overflow. Place a strip inside each flower.
- In a deep skillet or pan, pour oil about half inch deep and put on a medium heat.
- Take a flower stuffed with cheese and roll it in flour, turning it several times so that it is covered. Next, dip the flower into the egg mixture – The flour will help the egg to stick to the flower. Shake off excess egg slightly and place the piece into the hot oil. Fry it until golden brown, turning once about one or two minutes per side.
- Remove from the oil with tongs and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.
- Repeat the procedure with all the flowers, frying two or three at a time in the oil.
- Serve stuffed flowers, hot or cold, accompanied with a good sauce.
Lettuce and pumpkin blossom salad
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- 2 Italian lettuce thoroughly washed and disinfected
- 2 curly lettuces washed and disinfected
- 24 very fresh pumpkin blossoms, with stems and pistils (centres) removed
- 3 zucchini cut into thick strips, raw
- 100 grams of shredded panela cheese (substitute with crumbled goat cheese)
For the dressing:
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder
- 1 tablespoon of shelled and toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- On each plate, prepare a bed of lettuce, with the pumpkin flowers placed on top with strips of zucchini and cheese placed around them.
- If using goat cheese, sprinkle onto the salad.
- Serve the dressing on the side to serve the tastes of each guest.
Dressing: Blend together all ingredients and put in a serving dish.
About the author
There are not many people that use pumpkin flowers in these days but there are some who do, and they have amazing recipes to preparing them, I remember when I was young and my mother used to prepare many dishes with them to take advantage of the whole plant during the autumn season, maybe I should try something.
I really love the pumpkin flower because it has a high content of vitamin A are attributed beneficial effects on vision. It also contains vitamin C and group B, although in smaller amounts. Flower provides us minerals such as potassium, iron, cobalt, boron, zinc and calcium.
Quesadillas are very delicious and including an ingredient like this one can seem more exotic and better, maybe I should try to include more pumpkin blossoms in my diet, especially in this season, since autumn is near and the harvest too, thanks for the recipes by the way
How crazy that you can use the blossoms! I never knew! When we lived in oregon I used to have a VERY big garden, almost too much to take care of, and I grew some very large pumpkins. The biggest pumpkiin weighed 72 lbs., and I never even thought to eat the flowers. Too late now, because I can’t grow pumpkin in Alaska!
These sound pretty delicious recipes, but here in Europe the herb epazote is not commonly available – can you suggest an alternative? I am a big fan of mexican cooking and it sounds like the pumpkin flower would be pretty tasty, making good use of something that I would have otherwise not even thought about eating! Nice article – thank you for these recipes!