Both types of squash used in this dish, along with pumpkin seeds and squash blossoms, are characteristic ingredients in Central Mexican cooking. If chilacayote is unavailable in your area, substitute crookneck squash. Quintoniles are an edible green, similar in taste to lamb’s quarters or baby spinach, which can be used. Roasting the vegetables and toasting the greens and squash blossoms in the oven add a dimension of flavor often lacking in vegetable dishes.
- 1 pound chilacayote squash, cut into ¼” slices (or substitute crookneck squash)
- 1 pound zucchini, cut into ¼” slices
- 1 small head garlic, cloves separated, left unpeeled
- ¼ pound quintoniles (young, tender greens)
- ¼ pound squash blossoms, cleaned, pistils and green outer leaves removed
- 6 ounces raw pumpkin seeds without shells
- ½ cup olive oil, plus extra for roasting vegetables
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- a few drops of lime juice, or to taste
- salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
- 12 ounces feta cheese, cut in ½ 2 cubes
- ¼ pound purple onion, thinly sliced
Place the chilacayote, zucchini and garlic on a large, rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, and roast in a moderate oven (about 350ºF) until golden brown, turning once. Take care not to burn the vegetables. Remove and cool. Peel garlic cloves.
On a separate baking sheet, roast the greens and squash blossoms, sprinkled with olive oil, for10 minutes or until dry and toasted. Remove and cool.
In a dry skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds until they begin to pop and inflate. Remove and cool.
Place the cooled chilacayote, zucchini and garlic in a large bowl. Toss with a mixture of the olive oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add the greens, squash blossoms, pumpkin seeds, cheese and onion, and toss lightly. Serves 4.