Zucchini flower & rocket tacos with goat’s cheese & veracruz dressing

Zucchini flower & rocket tacos with goat’s cheese & veracruz dressing

Chris Middleton

Vegetables are the stars of Mexican food culture, and vegetable flowers are particularly highly prized. Pumpkin and zucchini flowers are typically used to make brightly coloured blue corn quesadillas, so while these vegetarian tacos may appear quiet posh, they are actually just a simple and delicious reinterpretation of the classic Mexican street food you often find on the sunny streets of Veracruz.


Quantity Ingredient
500ml sunflower oil, for frying
500ml buttermilk
200g plain flour or cornmeal
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt
12 zucchini flowers, into quarters lengthways
12 Tortilla dough, homemade masa flour tortillas
or store-bought tortillas
100g wild rocket leaves
125g washed rind goat’s cheese log, sliced

Veracruz dressing

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 jalapeno, finely sliced
500g cherry tomatoes
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground cumin
1/2 bunch basil leaves, plus a few extra chopped leaves
1/2 bunch oregano leaves, plus a few extra chopped leaves
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
50g capers, rinsed
50g chopped green olives

Goat’s crema

Quantity Ingredient
200g goat’s yoghurt
100g low-fat sour cream
1 lime, juiced
pinch salt


  1. For the dressing, warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic, jalapeño, tomatoes, spices and herbs and cook together for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to collapse.
  2. Transfer the tomato mixture to a food processor, add the vinegar and 250 ml warm water and blend to a very smooth sauce. Sieve into a bowl, add the capers, olives and a few chopped basil and oregano leaves. Season.
  3. Heat the sunflower oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat to 140°C.
  4. To make the goat’s crema, combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Pour the buttermilk into a wide, shallow bowl. Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion and garlic powders and salt in a shallow tray. Add the cut zucchini flowers to to the buttermilk and leave to steep for a few minutes, then remove with a fork and roll through the seasoned flour to coat evenly.
  6. Fry the zucchini flowers in the hot oil in batches, for 1 minute, until crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towel to drain.
  7. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over high heat. Lightly spray with oil and briefly fry the tortillas to warm them. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in a warm damp tea towel or taco holder and set aside to keep warm.
  8. Increase the heat of the oil to 180°C. Refry the zucchini in batches for 1 minute, or until golden brown. Drain again on paper towel and season with salt.
  9. To serve, arrange the warm tortillas onto serving plates and top with a little of the goat’s crema and a small handful of rocket leaves. Drizzle over a little Veracruz sauce and top with a few slices of goat’s cheese and a piece of crispy zucchini flower. Repeat the layers to create a neat, colourful pile of crispy vegetables. Serve immediately.
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