VEGAN WITHOUT THE CHEESE /// MAKES ENOUGH FOR 8 TO 10 TACOS
If you can’t get squash blossoms for these summer tacos, go ahead and make the filling without them. But if you have a garden and you’re looking for ways to use squash flowers, they’re welcome in a taco.
1 pound tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles or 1 large jalapeño chile, minced
1½ pounds summer squash, cut into ½-inch dice
6 to 10 squash blossoms, sliced crosswise (optional)
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed if using canned
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Heat the broiler (or a grill, see Note). Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tomatoes on the foil. Place under the broiler, close to the heat, and broil until charred black. Turn over and broil on the other side until charred black. This usually takes 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Remove the skins from the tomatoes, core, and cut in half. Set a strainer over a bowl and, making sure the tomato is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the seeds, then rub the gelatinous pulp that surrounds the seeds through the strainer. Chop the tomato flesh and add to the bowl with the juice. Discard the seeds.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles, summer squash, and more salt to taste. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the squash is beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring often, until the squash is just about tender and the tomatoes have cooked down slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash blossoms if using and continue to cook until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is fragrant, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the beans and cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Use the filling (and goat cheese as the cheese) to make 8 to 10 Soft Tacos (see this page).
NOTE: You can also grill the tomatoes (with the squash) on an outdoor grill. And while you’re at it, grill the squash and onions too. Slice the onion (instead of chopping) and toss with the squash and a little olive oil. Grill in a grill pan over the coals.
ADVANCE PREPARATION: The filling will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. The squash may throw off some juice in the refrigerator; just stir the dish well and use it, juice and all.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS: Throw in a handful of chopped amaranth greens, quelites, or chopped spinach (or baby spinach) toward the end of Step 3 and cook, stirring, until they wilt.