As with other members of the goosefoot family, huauzontle is edible and it is typically prepared in a manner similar to spinach or broccoli. Alternatively, huauzontles can be encased in an egg batter and deep fried with a stick of salty Mexican cheese.
The plant is closely related to Chenopodium quinoa from the Andes (known as Quinoa), but a different part of the plant is harvested. With huauzontle the inflorescence is eaten, but with quinoa, a pseudograin, though the greens are edible it is primarily the seed that is harvested for food.
Substitute for Huauzontle
How to Use Huauzontle
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 Huauzontles.[endofglossaryentry]