Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto

I know you might be thinking, "That sounds like a weird combination of ingredients."  Stay with me on this, you won't regret it.  You want to try new things, right?  I've made a black bean and sweet potato burrito before, which was good, but this is way better!  Roasting the sweet potatoes is tasty and very appealing to the eye (always a plus).  And the addition of the swiss chard pesto is very unique and adds an interesting flair.

Also, you can adjust the spiciness level to whatever you prefer.  The boyfriend and I differ on this a bit, although we both have a similar Midwestern background.  I'm a wimp.  It's sad.  I try and try to enjoy more spice, but alas, I cannot.  I can't taste anything past the fire.  So I'm the perpetual "1 star/mild" girl at restaurants.  However, the boyfriend's multi-year stint in Colorado has served his taste buds well and he loves medium-hot cuisine.  Yay for him, but it does require some finesse in our shared cooking.

This pesto isn't too terribly spicy, as written.  The swiss chard absorbs a fair amount of any kick, so if you like it spicy, add in more, and taste, taste, taste!

This recipe is also a snap to put together, which is always welcome, of course.  I will admit that the boyfriend was a bit wary (even if he won't say so), and wasn't as excited as I was to try this recipe.  BUT, you can't argue with results, and the result was that we ate it all.

Tasty.  Easy.  Affordable.  Healthy.  Pretty.  It's a... quintuple threat.

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto
(from the Bev Cooks blog)
Makes 4-6 individual tacos, with lots of leftover pesto, so make more potatoes and beans, or freeze the pesto!

1 bunch swiss chard, cut into chunks
1 jalapeno, roughly chopped, seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. green hot sauce

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Sweet Potatoes:
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into a small/medium dice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Salt & pepper

Black Beans:
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt

8 white corn or flour tortillas
1/3rd cup queso fresco, crumbled
1 avocado, diced
lime and cilantro for garnish

Preheat your oven to 400.

On a rimmed baking sheet toss the diced sweet potato with the oil, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, a pinch of coarse salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, toss the swiss chard, jalapeno, garlic, and hot sauce into a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Start pulsing. With the motor running, pour the oil into the processor in a thin stream, until you have pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Toss the beans into a small sauce pan and season with the remaining cumin, chili powder and garlic salt. Heat through, 5 minutes.

On a small grill or skillet, warm the tortillas.

Assemble: tortilla, sweet potatoes, beans. Dollop with a good 2 Tbs. of swiss chard pesto. Sprinkle on the diced avocado, queso fresco, a good spritz of lime and a few cilantro leaves.


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