Chimichurri may not have been invented for tacos or, for that matter, vegan tacos. But this Argentine condiment shouldn’t be limited to the grilled meats it traditionally accompanies. I love chimichurri stirred into vegetables and find that it’s bright and garlicky, tangy flavor especially complements greens like kale. Add some black beans, wrap it up in a tortilla, and top with avocado, and you have a quick yet flavorful and nutritious weeknight dinner.
If you’re like me, most of these ingredients can be found in your kitchen on any given day — a can of beans, a bunch of greens, and a few simple staples that combine to form the most lively and versatile sauce. Rich with the flavors of garlic, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice, the chimichurri needs to stand at least 20 minutes before you use it. However, I prefer the flavor after several hours so I make the sauce the night before, making this dinner even easier to throw together after a long workday.
Heat the kale and beans in a saucepan, stir in the chimichurri, and then spoon the filling into warmed tortillas. Top it with avocado chunks and crunchy pepitas for a well-rounded meal. And the bonus? Hardly any dishes to wash!
Makes 8 tacos
For the chimichurri (makes about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium shallot, peeled
- 1 cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley, large stems removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (can substitute 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper to taste (I like using Aleppo pepper)
For the tacos:
- 8 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 avocados, chopped just before serving
- Pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Using a food processor, roughly chop the garlic and shallot. Add the parsley and oregano, and pulse until finely chopped but not puréed. (Alternatively, you can finely chop the ingredients by hand.) Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
- Skim 2 tablespoons of oil off the top of the chimichurri and heat it in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and water, and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Uncover, add the drained beans, and cook for another minute or so until the kale is tender but still bright and the beans are heated through. Stir in 1/3 cup of chimichurri.
- To assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas (See Notes and Tips), fill them with kale and black beans, and top with avocado. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and additional chimichurri, if desired
Notes and Tips:
Warming the tortillas is usually our last step when we’re having fajitas for dinner or making a batch of enchiladas. With a little heat, they get soft and pliable – perfect for wrapping around the filling. Here are three ways to do it!
1. In the Microwave – Put five or fewer tortillas on a microwavable plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave in 30-second bursts until they are warmed through. Repeat in batches of five tortillas until all your tortillas are warm.
2. In the Oven – Wrap a stack of five or fewer tortillas in a packet of aluminum foil and put it in a pre-heated 350° oven for 15-20 minutes, until heated through. You can do multiple packets of five tortillas each all at the same time.
3. On the Stove-Top – Place the tortillas in a dry (no oil) stainless steel skillet over medium heat and cook them for about 30 seconds on each side. You can also do away with the skillet and char the tortillas directly over the gas flames for a few seconds using tongs! These stove-top methods work best when the tortillas are very fresh.
• If your tortillas are a few days old, brush them with a little water before cooking them (using any of the methods).
• Keep tortillas warm by covering them with a slightly dampened, clean dish towel.
• For crispy tortillas, warm the tortillas in a skillet on the stove top and melt a little butter in the pan before adding the tortillas.
Recipe Courtesy of kitchn
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