Photo by Peter Frank Edwards
One spring, a dozen or so members of my team and I spent a few days at the Chef’s Garden in Ohio 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.
- 4 servings
- Balsamic dressing:
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about 1 cup)
- 12 squash blossoms, cleaned
- Basil leaves
- Maldon salt
- Greek yogurt or Mexican crema (optional)
- 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.
- 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.
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