At Mamasita, Jason uses a mixture of queso fresco and criollo cheese, and makes his own corn tortillas. You can use store-bought tortillas instead, but making your own is easy and makes a world of difference to this recipe.
- 200 g (1⅓ cups) white corn masa flour (see Note)
- 6 large zucchini flowers
- 1 large zucchini
- 200 g queso fresco (see Note), grated
- 2 serrano chillies (see note), thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, rind grated
- 2 bulbs spring onions, thinly sliced
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- mixed leaf salad, torn into small pieces
- 100 g (about 20) dried hibiscus flowers (see Note)
- 250 g seeded dates, chopped
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 20 minutes
Drink 2010 Michel Torino Award Torrontes, Argentina ($25).
Soak dried hibiscus flowers in warm water for 20 minutes or until rehydrated.
Meanwhile, to make tortillas, place 310 ml warm water in a bowl and add flour and ½ tsp salt. Stir until mixture forms a soft dough, then divide into 8 balls and cover with plastic wrap.
Using a tortilla press, flatten each ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. (Alternatively, using a rolling pin, roll each ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a 20 cm round.)
Heat a small cast-iron frying pan or crêpe pan over medium–high heat. Lightly grease and cook tortillas for 1 minute each side or until cooked and soft. Set aside.
Drain hibiscus flowers, reserving 60 ml soaking liquid. Process the hibiscus and reserved soaking liquid in a food processor with the dates, sherry vinegar and ¼ tsp salt to a purée. Makes 1 cup. (Store any leftover salsa in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)
Separate the zucchini flowers from the stems and tear into quarters. Grate zucchini and the stems of the zucchini flowers, and squeeze to remove moisture. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Lay 4 tortillas on a work surface and top with grated zucchini, cheese, chilli and lemon rind. Season with pepper. Top each with a tortilla and press lightly to seal.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Working with one quesadilla at a time, cook quesadilla for 2 minutes each side or until light golden and cheese is melted.
Toss zucchini flowers, onion, oil, lime juice and salad leaves in a bowl, and season.
Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with hibiscus salsa and zucchini flower salad.
• Masa flour, from Fireworks Foods and delis, is a fine flour made from corn.
• Queso fresco, from selected delis, is a soft, mild cow’s-milk cheese. Substitute buffalo mozzarella.
• Serrano chillies are long green Mexican chillies that are from selected greengrocers. Substitute 1 small long green chilli.
• Dried hibiscus flowers are from Aztec Products. Substitute 250 g jar wild hibiscus flowers in syrup (drained, rinsed). They do not need soaking.
• Sherry vinegar is available from delis. Substitute red wine vinegar.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 8, pg70.
Photography by John Laurie