Other names: huauzoncle, guauzontle, huazontles
Pronounced [wah-ZONT-lay] - The botanical name is (Chenopodium berlandieri spp. nuttalliae). Huazontles are native to Mexico and were traditionally eaten during Lent. As popularity grew the crop became cultivated and is commercially available throughout Mexico and even in parts of the U.S. The plant grows in the U.S. as well but is considered to be a weed.
This long-stemmed green is eaten in Mexican cuisine. Only the spiky flower buds not the larger leaves are eaten and the taste is similar to spinach but looks a lot like, and has the texture of, broccoli. Typically the greens are boiled, drained, then squeezed out. The sprigs are then batter-dipped then pan fried encasing cheese like a chile relleno. This dish is called Tortas de Huazontles.