After my trip to California, I came back to England craving vegetables. Usually I would have been so packed full of vegetables after a trip home that I would come back here craving junk, but this was such a whistle-stop tour that there was very little eating at home and when we did it was what was quick and satisfying − cheese, bread and wine. So I came back wanting vegetables of all colors, all at once and right now! These tacos were the perfect antidote to a week of gout-inducing luxury.
Simply roasting zucchini (Brits read: courgette) and corn with lots of spices gives you a filling for any number of Mexican dishes: burritos, enchiladas, tacos. Dicing the vegetables finer and roasting them with more Mediterranean spices would make a great roasted vegetable salsa for fish, chicken or pork too. After roasting the vegetables, there is little more to it than chucking on any and every topping imaginable: tomatoes, avocado, red onion, cilantro (coriander).
On the side, I only wanted more vegetables. So I decided to make a roasted red pepper salad. Simply tossed with lime juice, salt and olive oil, they instantly rejuvenated my carb-laden insides. Instead of rice, I went for spiced black beans cooked down in water until they were creamy, spicy and just stodgy enough to give that carb satisfaction.
As spring is upon us, it’s the perfect time to start thinking of how we’re going to use the glut of delicious veg coming our way and these tacos are a very enjoyable way to get a barrel full of vegetables into you.
3-5 Zucchini, depending on size, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 cup Corn kernels or 2 ears of Corn
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
8 Mini Flour Tortillas
1/2 Red Onion, finely diced
1 large Tomato, roughly chopped
1 Avocado, diced
Feta, Cotijo or Queso Fresco (Optional)
Cilantro (Coriander) Leaves
Spicy Black Beans
1 can Black Beans in water
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 cup Stock or Water
Roasted Red Pepper Salad
1 Red Pepper
1 Orange Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Lime, juiced
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Cilantro (Coriander), roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
2. Put beans with their water, stock, spices and bay leaf in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is reduced and the beans are partially broken down. Stir occasionally.
3.Toss vegetables for filling with olive oil and spices, salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a baking tray. Put in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning half way through.
4. While the vegetables are roasting, char the peppers over a gas flame until most of the skin is blackened. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
5. Prepare toppings for tacos while you’re waiting for the roasted vegetables and the peppers.
6. Peel the skins off the peppers and slice into 1/4″ thick slices. Toss with olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro (coriander) and set aside.
7. Take the vegetables out of the oven and turn the oven off. Crumple up and wet a piece of parchment paper big enough to wrap up your tortillas. Wrap them in the wet parchment paper and put in the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.
8. Serve the vegetables in the tortillas with the toppings for people to help themselves. Serve the beans and pepper salad on the side.