taco tuesday

By Saturday, June 13, 2009 , , , , , ,

We try to go meatless at least twice a week. It definitely makes you a little more creative during those dreary winter months when all that is in season is winter squash, onions and maybe some overwinter spinach, but now that the Dane County Farmers' Market is in full swing, veggie dinners are super easy, super satisfying and super good for you and the planet!

Before Pickle was born, Tuesday nights were often spent with friends at the
Old Fashioned for their boozy Taco Tuesday – the fish and pork tacos rocked; so did the margaritas; the next morning was not so rocking. Needless to say, Pickle is not digging that scene too much just yet, so Taco Tuesday is more of a home affair.

Last Saturday, we picked up some amazingly gorgeous baby beets (we'll be roasting them later in the week) from Jones Valley Farm, one of my favorite stands at the market.

People often discard one of the best parts of the beet – the greens. Similar to Swiss chard in flavor and texture, beet greens are wonderful sautéed and piled on a taco. What makes them even better are some crimini mushrooms, sautéed until golden with some garlic. Yum. Add to that some DreamFarm chevre and you got yourself one heck of a taco.

Pickle loves greens (I know, we’re lucky) and he really gobbled up the greens on our first Taco Tuesday of the season! The mushrooms were tolerated and the goat cheese was thrown on the floor. He’s on an anti-dairy kick this week.

P.S. I like a “fresh” component to garnish these tacos. Some thinly sliced scallions, microgreens, radishes or pea shoots add a crisp top-note.

Here's the recipe. Bon Appétit ... or, rather, Buen Apetito!

Tacos of sautéed beet greens and crimini with goat cheese ... Serves two adults and one Pickle

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 bunch beet greens, roughly chopped and washed
1 lb. crimini mushrooms, wiped clean, if necessary, small ones left whole, larger ones halved or quarter depending on size
1 half of a red onion, halved and then sliced thinly 1 clove garlic, grated on microplane, divided
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 oz. chevre
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8-10 corn tortillas*
Hot sauce

Garnishes: thinly sliced scallions, microgreens, radishes or pea shoots

Heat 12-inch sauté pan until smoking hot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and then add mushrooms. Do not touch them. When they start to whistle (yes, whistle), they are ready for a flip or a stir. Let them go a little bit more, until their juices start flowing a little. Add red onion, half the garlic, a good pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onions are nicely browned and soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove to a serving dish; keep warm in the oven or tented with foil.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add greens and cook, stirring occasionally until wilted. Add remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add balsamic vinegar and let it reduce down until greens a just coated. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a serving bowl.

Top each taco with chevre and some of the garnishes noted above.

*Heating corn tortillas
A great way to consistently and easily heat corn tortillas without over-steaming them (and having them glued to the kitchen towel they were wrapped in) is to heat them in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and, on a foil-lined baking sheet, place one layer of tortillas. Brush very lightly with olive oil. Repeat with a second layer on top of the first. Brush with oil and repeat again, if needed. Heat in oven for 2-4 minutes — keep an eye on them; overheating will make them disintegrate. Pile them up in a towel-lined basket. Eat fast.

Note: this method is also great for assembling enchiladas.

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