I'm always in the mood for Mexican food. Partially because it's easy to incorporate TONS of seasonal produce into just about any Mexican dish. Today I will go over the steps for sweet potato tacos with black beans and an avocado and roasted pumpkin seed sauce. I'm including a few bonus garnish recipes as well! The pickled veggies, pumpkin seeds and salsa are all great items to make ahead of time, as they store well and need time to rest before serving.
Pickled Radishes and Onions
1 bunch radishes
1 1/2 cups water
1 /12 cups apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp honey
5 Tsp salt
2 Tsp cayenne pepper
4 Tbsp mustard seed or pickling spice mix
Prepare radishes by washing then trimming off ends and slicing very thin with a mandoline or knife. Place radishes in a mason jar, leaving some space between pieces. Do not over pack jar.
Prepare the onions by removing outer layer, and slicing into thin, half rounds. Place onions in a separate mason jar. Again do not over pack.
In a sauce pan boil all of the water, vinegar, honey, cayenne and salt. Distribute the pickling spice or mustard seed equally between the two jars. Once the liquid has reached a steady boil, split between the two prepared jars.
Let the jars sit out/uncovered for at least an hour before refrigerating.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas!)
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp Tamari
1 Tsp Cayenne
In a large cast iron skillet place the cup of pumpkin seeds. Stir occasionally while making sure the seeds are not burning or sticking to bottom of the pan. Once seeds are browned and fragrant, add the cayenne followed by the tamari. Stir immediately after adding the tamari to pan, as it can stick to the bottom quite easily. Cook one more minute and remove from heat.
Transfer the seeds to a plate and let cool uncovered for at least an hour.
Serranos, jalapenos and tomatoes.....OH MY!
A super simple, crowd impressing salsa.....not for the spice weary folks!
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and quartered
6 fresh serranos roughly chopped
4 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Place all ingredients (excluding cilantro) into a blender and blend until liquified. Add minimal amounts of water if necessary. Transfer into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes on medium to high heat. It will start to thicken and darken in color. Remove from heat and place in a jar. Bring to room temperature before adding the cilantro and sealing the lid. Serve cold with tortilla chips as an appetizer or with any Mexican dish for added spice and flavor.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes scrubbed and cubed with skins on.
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss all of the ingredients in a large bowl until potatoes are coated evenly with spices. Pour onto baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Make sure the potatoes are not piled high, as they will not cook as well.
Remove from oven once the edges start to caramelize and potatoes are soft to a forks touch.
Set in a bowl and cover with foil to keep war until you are ready to assemble the tacos.
2 cups black beans (canned or dried/soaked and prepared) drained and rinsed if using canned
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic pressed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro chopped finely
2 tbsp cili powder
Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup water
In a sauce pan saute onion/garlic in olive oil until clear. About 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and stir 30 more seconds. Add the beans and water and bring to a boil. Add lime juice and salt. Reduce heat to low.
Remove half of the beans and blend with a food processor. Add additional water to the beans if they are too thick. Add the processed beans back into the pan. Cook for 10 more minutes on low stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add the cilantro. You can also add chopped green chillies, or pickled or fresh jalapeno for added flavor. If you do not have a food processor, mash half the beans with a potato masher or back side of a fork. Cover with lid until you are ready to assemble tacos.
Avocado and pepita dip
2 avocados with pit removed
1 lime juiced
1/2 fresh jalapeno
1/2 red onion roughly chopped
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) recipe above
Water as needed
Salt to taste
Save some pumpkin seeds for garnishing tacos!
Place ALL the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend, adding water as needed. The consistency should be thinner than guacamole but thicker than a typical salad dressing.
Set aside until you are ready to assemble tacos.
Home made Corn Tortillas are a sure way to impress your guests.
To assemble your tacos:
Heat your tortilla preference in a skillet until warm, layer with beans, sweet potatoes and avocado/pepita sauce. Top with additional garnishes of choice. Pickled items, red cabbage, cilantro, queso fresco, sour cream, hot peppers....the list goes on and on! Now enjoy your taco feast, and comment below if you try out these recipes!
And featured here, the best part about Cinco De Mayo....? Leftovers on Seis De Mayo!!
Ali Price is a Root 5 Farm CSA member and local food educator. She provides group and private cooking lessons to folks in the Upper Valley. She is also an aspiring Health Coach and born and raised veggie lover.
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