Thursday, May 5, 2011

Zucchini and portobello tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo, amigos!  Without intentionally planning it, this week has turned out to be quite the celebration of Mexican dishes.  Yesterday I shared with you the it-can't-possibly-be-that-easy cilantro chicken with homemade salsa.

Today I've got a doozy for you -- zucchini and portobello soft tacos with alllllllll the toppings: salsa, sour cream, and melty cheese!  Be still my little jumping bean of a heart!!

I love living in America.  Our country is a place where cultures of all backgrounds come together to form a glorious smorgasboard of traditions.  But we have been known to wrongfully take credit for things that we had no hand in creating.  If you think about it, America is a bit like that person you dated that slowly "borrowed" all of your things and adopted them as his own.  Your favorite sweatshirt is now hers.  His MP3 player is loaded with all of the albums of your favorite band.  And she has turned your beloved burger joint into a weekly hangout for her and her friends.  Don't get me wrong, people's interests and tastes evolve over time, but where's the harm in being open about how you first discovered those things? 

Enter tacos, a delicious staple of Mexican fare.  A dinner favorite among American households.  And how do most of us eat them?  With prepackaged shells, sauce, and that recognizable little packet of seasoning courtesy of McCormick.  I'm not knocking this method, as I've used it countless times, but it lacks a bit in the creativity department.  Why not make our own version of tacos?  Step out of the box juuuuuuust a bit.  Admit our inspiration came from Mexico and then challenge ourselves to do something different.

When I spotted this twist on tacos, I knew I had to try them immediately.  Instead of ground beef, the main filling was a mixture of roasted portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and red onion.  How different and eye-opening!  Separately, I love all of these things, and have not been shy about raving about roasted vegetables.  Delicioso!

The portobellos were as meaty as a vegetable could be.  The onions and zucchini were tender and sweet.  The salsa had a bit of a kick and the smooth cheese and sour cream tied the whole thing together.  A mess this possibly was, but a culinary hit?  You bet your derriere... wait, that's French.  Tokhes... nope, that's Yiddish.  Well, however you'd say "bottom" in Spanish.  Enjoy yours on this Cinco de Mayo!

Portobello and Zucchini Tacos
(adapted from here)
-serves 4

A few notes: While I'm partial to mushrooms, I realize not everyone is such a fan.  Feel free to substitute whatever you like -- eggplant, tofu, or even asparagus.  And use whatever salsa you fancy.  Had I any left from the cilantro chicken, I would've used that, but a jar of mild store-bought was totally sufficient.

5 medium portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
4 medium zucchini, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch sticks
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
12 (4 1/2-inch) corn tortillas
6 ounces (1 cup) shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup fresh salsa
Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss zucchini and onion with remaining teaspoon oregano and tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper.

Place both sheets in oven. Roast, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are browned and fork-tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, warm tortillas according to package instructions (they should be lightly browned but still soft). Wrap loosely in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.

To serve, fill each tortilla with mushrooms, vegetable mixture, shredded cheese, and salsa.


  1. This looks sooo good Katy!!!

  2. While I'm not usually one for non-meat foods, these are delicious.

  3. Val - thanks! You've gotta try! Super easy and incredibly delish :)