José Andrés has made a name for himself in the world of sustainable cooking. The Spanish chef mixes his love of food and philanthropy to source ingredients and create recipes that will give back – and taste delicious. With the release of his latest cookbook, Vegetables Unleashed, José is sharing the secrets to some of his best recipes and giving a lesson on food waste. Below is a recipe for a cheesy snack (as seen on The Ellen Show) that offers a delicate surprise. After seeing the Squash Blossom Cheeseadilla created on the talk show, we couldn’t wait to get the recipe and the story behind it.
José's latest cookbook Vegatables Unleashed is out now
Excerpt from Vegatables Unleashed: "One spring, a dozen or so members of my team and I spent a few days at the Chef’s Garden in Ohio (see page 56), experimenting with the farm’s crazy bounty of plants. We were working on intense projects, trying to capture the essence of each vegetable in new and exciting ways. This dish, however, came about almost as an afterthought: Ruben Garcia, my creative director, grated cheese into a nonstick pan, then started sticking different herbs and leaves and baby vegetables into the cheese as it melted and hardened into crispy shells, and the cheeseadilla was born. This version uses squash blossoms, but you can press all kinds of things into the cheese—herbs, edible flowers, asparagus tips, or strips of raw vegetables."
The Spanish chef has created the Squash Blossom Cheeseadilla Photo: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
SQUASH BLOSSOM CHEESEADILLA
¼ pound Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about 1 cup)
12 squash blossoms, cleaned
tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Greek yogurt or Mexican crema (optional)
For the Dressing
Combine the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to combine. Set aside; whisk again before serving.
The recipe is featured in José's latest cookbook Photo: Peter Frank
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. For each cheeseadilla, place 2 packed tablespoons of Parmesan in the pan and use the back of the spoon to spread the cheese into a 3-inch round. Cook until the cheese is melted, then press a squash blossom on top of each one and cook until the cheese is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes.
Carefully pry the cheeseadillas off the skillet with a spatula and flip them, then cook for 30 seconds or so, to brown the blossoms lightly. Transfer to a serving plate and repeat to make more cheeseadillas. Just before serving, drizzle the cheeseadillas with the balsamic dressing. Garnish with basil leaves and a couple of flakes of Maldon salt, and a few dollops of yogurt, if using.
Excerpt from VEGETABLES UNLEASHED by José Andrés and Matt Goulding. Copyright 2019 by José Andrés. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.