First in a Series of Superiores Tacos Vegetarianos
It was worth a drive down to the Bestway Supermercado to pick up fresh epazote for these extraordinario vegetarian tacos. These tacos are not your traditional tacos sans carne. This flavor profile stands on its own. In fact, the addition of chicken or pork or steak couldn’t improve on their fresh earthy robust sabor.
I’m happy to have discovered Mission Artisan Tortillas with a blend of whole grains and corn which have a great rustic texture and hearty flavor. I heat them in a skillet over high heat with barely a brushstroke of olive oil in the pan.
Remove tough stems and tear a bunch of green chard into medium-sized pieces. Rinse and drain, but leave some water clinging to the leaves. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large sauté pan, add a couple cloves of chopped garlic, after a minute add the chard. Cook, turning the leaves occasionally, until tender and all the water has evaporated. Season with a bit of sea salt.
The warm torilla is topped with a layer green chard then a layer of shiitake and onion mixture.
Sear sliced yellow onion rings in a bit of olive oil. Simultaneously, cook sliced shiitake in another pan. Toss the two together, season with salt and pepper.
The recipe for homemade chipotle tomatillo salsa can be found here. Or to jazz up store-bought tomatillo salsa, just stir in finely chopped chipotle peppers and a bit of adobo sauce. The result is a spicy, smoky green salsa that pairs well with the vegetables. Ladle a couple teaspoons of salsa on top of each taco.
A small amount of goat cheese is crumbled on top. This is Cana de Cabra, a creamy tangy Spainish cheese with a slight mushroom-y aroma. Finally the taco is sprinkled with fresh epazote. I cut it into a chiffonade, just like I would with basil. The saw-toothed epazote gives the tacos a unique aroma and flavor. I have fallen in love with this herb and its intriguing bouquet which is strangely reminiscent of, if you can believe it, kerosene.
#1 Superiores Tacos Vegetarianos
Serve with limes, whole epazote leaves and extra chipotle tomatillo salsa on the side. While this dish is full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, my heart-healthy version also omits the cheese to bring the cholesterol to zero, and cuts back on the salt.
Muchas gracias to Chef Rick Bayless, the source of inspiration for these tacos.