It's delightful when you realize that you have a recipe repertoire -- that list of standbys that lingers in the recesses of your mind, ready to spring to action upon a single word.
Or two words.
Vegetable tacos. I call these vegetable tacos rather than veggie tacos because while being very quick and simple, they're also somewhat sophisticated. If I do say so myself.
Interestingly, their creator, Allysa Torey (of Magnolia Bakery fame), calls them "sort of a Tex-Mex open-faced taco." I can sort of see that, if I scrunch up my nose and squint a bit, but when I think of Tex-Mex, I think of some dark, indistinct beef and beans puddle lying lifeless on a tasteless flour tortilla, drowning underneath a pool of greasy orange cheese.
This, as you can see above, is anything but. Yes, there's some melty cheese action, but it's covering a lovely melange of fresh vegetables, sauteed in smoky spices such as chili pepper, cumin, and ground chipotle. And feel free to use any combination of vegetables you like, or have on hand! One of my favorite medleys includes broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms, yellow squash, tomatoes, and corn. Or swap asparagus for broccoli, yum. Or add black beans, highly recommended.
Don't go thinkin' that this recipe is too high falutin for you...no, no, no, you'll see there are but a few steps: chop, saute, stir, plop, top, enjoy!
adapted from At Home with Magnolia (apparently a real go-to at my house)
Makes 3 big dinner portions (2 heavy tacos each)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 3/4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (I cut grape tomatoes in thirds, wasn't as tedious as it sounds!)
1 cup diced zucchini
1 teaspoon (or more!) hot sauce (I like this one)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red chipotle pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Six 6-inch soft corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Add the onion (and a pinch of salt, always!) and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and saute for another 3-5 minutes, until tender. Add the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, spices, and hot sauce. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 or so minutes. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
In another large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Place 2 tortillas in the skillet and top each with a half cup of the filling and a generous helping of shredded cheese. Cover and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the tortilla has crisped up on the sides. Transfer to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while you repeat with the remaining tortillas. Serve hot, topped with sour cream and cilantro.