Summer in a Taco

I can’t think of a better way to describe this unbeatable recipe from my all-time favorite, Smitten Kitchen (yes, again). I seriously think these are possibly the best homemade tacos I have ever cooked. The recipe is deceivingly simple and it might not really sound all that exciting on first glance. Well, that’s because you haven’t eaten these tacos.

This “slaw” does it all by itself. I knew before I even finished cooking that this is a recipe I’ll make again and again, just by eating a spoonful (or 3) of this gorgeous, colorful medley of raw zucchini-radish slaw with lime and cilantro. I added jalapeno for a little kick and wouldn’t mind throwing in some red cabbage  next time for extra crunch.

I know you might be thinking that this dish is too light – all veggies in a taco? Where’s the meat or beans? You might also be thinking it’s too heavy – all that starch between the corn and tortillas. You’d be wrong on either assumption. These are a perfectly satisfying, well balanced, healthy, cheap and delicious meal. Beat that. I dare you.

Now I must admit, I made a few very slight variations on the original recipe. I folded the cilantro into the slaw, rather than the corn-onion mixture because I wanted it to stay as fresh and bright as possible, and not wilt in the heat. I oven-roasted the corn because it was WAY too hot to fire up the grill, and I don’t have a gas stove (yet). Also, sadly, my grocery store is a little too Bethesda to carry Cotija cheese, so I replaced it with feta, but it was delicious all the same. Note: must track down a local Latino market.

I also chopped up half a jalapeno in the slaw, and used cumin instead of chili powder in the corn and onions. And we prefer flour tortillas over corn.

I seriously cannot recommend this recipe highly enough. It was incredibly easy, pretty quick, very cheap, super healthy and absolutely delectable. Worst case scenario, you eat a third taco and oops, you’ve eaten too many vegetables today…. what a shame.

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Char.

This is what summer time is all about. We spent a lazy 4th of July weekend devouring RedRocks Pizza on the patio,strolling through Eastern Market, grilling everything we could find, enjoying drag brunch at Nellie’s, and finally taking a nice long bike ride to the National Arboretum. Oh, and then we watched a 360° panorama of fireworks from the roof.

Life is good.


We made an excellent batch of kale chips to start. No, not on the grill. Wash and dry any variety of kale very thoroughly – drying is the most important part. Then shred into bite sized pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake for about 15-20 minutes in a 300° oven until super crispy. Can’t be beat.


Next, Emily made eggplant bruschetta, using grilled eggplant slices in place of bread, fresh pan-seared tomatoes, basil and feta cheese. As vibrant in flavor as it is in color.


Now this was the kicker. Dijon-glazed salmon burgers, grilled to perfection and made all the more heavenly with bacon and arugula. Hell. Yes.


Salmon burgers, kale chips, and potato salad with radishes and celery.

…I hope you don’t think we stopped there.


Grilled cinnamon glazed peaches with ice cream (not pictured: fresh blueberries).

Yeah, this makes the summer heat all worth it.

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