Totally Taco Friday & a Garden Update

It seems like a miracle that we’ve made it to the end of this work week. Between feeling down for personal reasons and the horrific events of Boston and West and the gun bill not passing even though 80% of Americans support it and the floods that are now ravaging the midwest, it seems like there was no breathing room in the week. There were plenty of happy things too–New Zealand passed marriage equality! I got to see the fabulous Circus Cats! The farmers market starts again tomorrow!–and I wish I could just focus on those, but it’s tough. So many people have it so hard right now. Can I just give everyone a virtual hug right now?

But on the other side of things, life is constantly changing and my garden is always a good reminder of that. Sometimes it pays to ‘stop and smell the tulips’ and meditate on what’s good.

Although I haven’t done anything that I should have to prep the garden this year–no seeds started, no soil amended–some of the fruits of my winter plantings are actually starting to grow!

The sorrel I planted last spring is still doing its thing, even though I’ve cut it to the ground twice now. And behind it is the fava plant which has stuttered along all winter but is now flowering. Hey, maybe I’ll get some favas out of it? That’d be cool!

Also exciting is the broccoli head that’s begun on the other end of the garden! I’ve never grown broccoli before, so I have no idea how to help it along, but even if I don’t get much of a head, I’ll at least have those tender leaves to cook up some point soon. And behind the broccoli? Chard and kale! Can’t wait to whirl them into smothies and saute them with garlic. I can almost taste it.

But, because it is early spring after all, nothing is ready to harvest except for some sorrel. But what to do with it? With a few lone butternuts leftover from the fall harvest, I decided to make one of those ‘tweener’ dishes–something that straddles winter and summer, something totally spring-like without the plethora of spring produce that warmer regions are enjoying.

While I dream of one day conquering the grill, I’m still pretty terrified of it. My suggestion would be that if you are grill savvy, definitely grill the butternut. I can only imagine how delicious the char would be on it. Roasting works just fine though if you’re grill-impaired like myself. The cool sorrel and avocado sauce offsets the heat from the chipotle marinade on the butternut and be sure to take the extra minute to slice some red onions to pickle–it’s the perfect tang for the rich yet light meal these tacos provide.

It’s been a rough week and I’m sure we’ve all had our moments of fear and sadness and anxiety. So while I can’t hug you all individually, know that I would if I could. And I’d offer you a margarita and a taco right after.

Chipotle Butternut Tacos with Avocado Sorrel Sauce

1 medium butternut squash, peeled & deseeded, cut into 1/2″ dice

2 chipotles in adobo
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp ground cumin

3 c chopped sorrel leaves
1/2 avocado
3 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 + water (adjust as necessary)

1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin ribbons
Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Shredded lettuce
Cooked Quinoa

In a food processor or blender, combine the chipotle, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Process until a smooth marinade forms. Toss with squash in a bowl/plastic bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (can leave overnight).

After the squash has marinated, preheat the oven to 400 or prepare a grill. If roasting, place the squash on a lined baking sheet and roast, turning every 10 minutes or so, until tender. If grilling, do so in a grill basket and turn the pieces over periodically to prevent too much charring. Grill until tender when poked with a fork. Set aside.

While the squash is cooking, in a non-metal bowl, combine the red onion, sugar, and salt. Cover with apple cider vinegar. Let set at least 15 minutes to pickle.

To make the avocado-sorrel sauce, combine the fresh sorrel leaves, avocado, lemon juice, salt, and 1/4 cup of water in a food processor/blender. Blend until smooth. Add as much water as necessary to form a sauce.

Make each taco by warming a tortilla and then spooning the avocado sauce on the bottom. Layer cooked quinoa, butternut, pickled onion, and lettuce on top. Kick back and enjoy with a margarita or cerveza.

Serves 6

9 Responses to “Totally Taco Friday & a Garden Update”
  1. Helen says:

    These look amazing! I love the idea of putting quinoa into a taco, as well as all the other smoky, creamy deliciousness that you’ve combined here. Mmm…

  2. Caitlin says:

    this week has been just awful for this country, i agree. it’s hard to imagine everything you stated all happening within this week and it has. the tragedies make me feel afraid to leave my house or to do anything. and congress makes me ashamed to be an american.

    your garden makes me happy, though. it’s so beautiful and you have so many lovely things coming up! i’m so jealous since i am just starting to work on a garden and have nothing even planted yet. i can’t be too hard on myself i guess, we just moved in last september :/ i hope one day my garden looks like yours!

    and the tacos! tacos make everything better, i think. especially when butternut squash and red onion is involved. we don’t currently own a grill, but i agree- i bet grilled butternut tastes DELICIOUS.

  3. Chrissy says:

    Your garden looks great, and it’s a good reminder that no matter what happens in the world, life chugs on.

  4. Oooh squash tacos sounds delightful. And your garden is lookin’ fantastic!

  5. lazysmurf says:

    Your garden looks gorgeous, I finally just took out all my overgrown broccoli last weekend and my tomatoes are about to pop! The tacos sound great too, I love cooking from the garden, so much better than grocery shopping.

  6. FoodFeud says:

    I can’t say I’m acually bookmarking this recipe since I can’t reference it without the internet but copy and paste totally works. I’ve been in a taco mood for a while now and these sound so so great! I don’t think I’ve ever had sorrel but I have chipotle peppers to use up and can maybe find some late season squash.
    Think happy thoughts and eat more tacos!

  7. Eileen says:

    Tacos, man. I just want tacos for every meal lately. Your garden looks beautiful–hooray for spring!

  8. Your garden looks great, I love the raised beds! And, I have a pumpkin and have been wondering what to do with it, now I know!

  9. Mel says:

    I love your garden photos! I have finally managed to get a vegetable garden organised but I don’t want to post any photos yet in case it’s a dismal failure. My little fava plants are looking good at this stage, I hope they get pretty flowers like yours.

    Your tacos look great too, what a perfect meal to end an unpleasant week!

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