Healthy beans & greens tacos and a creamy avocado-zucchini salsa make a crowd-pleasing spring or summer dinner. Vegan. Gluten-free option.
It’s funny when inspiration strikes, or where a good idea finds you…The other day I was sitting at the Discount Tire store, waiting on my car…bored out of my mind. Just me and my phone. After every last email had been replied to and every last tweet read, I went to my go-to time-passing app, Epicurious. They aren’t paying me to write this, but I love this app. It saves me every time… dentist offices, bad movies, you name it…
I stopped on this zucchini salsa recipe which completely intrigued me. How could zucchini possibly become a replacement for tomatillos? I don’t know, but I was convinced enough to give it a try (with a few tweaks).
The base of the salsa is zucchini, onions, cilantro and lime juice. I mixed in some chopped avocado, and it became something special.
The salsa is on the tangy side, so I cooked up my black beans in a salty smokey way to counterbalance, with cumin, coriander, paprika & some cayenne. I have Swiss chard growing like crazy in my garden, and I had one leek, so I did a little green sauté to continue the green theme of this taco.
With the leftovers (you might actually want to make extra salsa so you have some leftover), I made breakfast tacos the next morning. Same stuff… add eggs.
Salsa adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2010, Ian Knauer.
Black Bean Tacos with Zucchini Salsa
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- ½ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- Zest from 1 lime and juice from 2 limes (unless your first lime was super juicy)
- Pinch cayenne or 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 small avocado, diced
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 can black beans (1½ cups)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ - ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Sea salt
- 1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced thin
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 4 or 5 large green chard leaves, chopped, including stems
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 6 tortillas
- ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese (optional)
- Make the zucchini-avocado salsa: Place the zucchini, cilantro, onion, lime zest and juice, cayenne, honey, and pinches of salt and pepper in a food processor and process to form a sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer the salsa to a bowl and stir in the diced avocado. Taste and adjust again. Set aside.
- Make the black beans: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the black beans and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the water, cumin, coriander, paprika, and a pinch of salt, and simmer for a few minutes on low. Taste and adjust seasonings and cover to keep warm.
- Make the chard and leek sauté: Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, chard stems, and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook until just wilted. Set aside.
- Over an open gas flame or in a skillet, heat each tortilla until a slight char forms. Assemble tacos with the black beans, green sauté, and the zucchini-avocado salsa. Top with the cotija cheese, if using, and serve. Best served with margaritas.