Chile-Lime Squash Tacos

squash-tacos

Now that it’s winter I’ve been seeing a lot of squash in the market– butternut, acorn, kabocha, and delicata, not to mention other kinds I’ve never tried before. But one thing that all of my go-to recipes have had in common is that they’re kind of heavy-tasting– chock-full of warming spices and comforting, rich flavors. That all changed when I saw this recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

Her original recipe uses acorn squash and fresh chile, but having neither of those I improvised and am so glad that I did. Using delicata squash allows you to eat the skin of the squash along with the flesh, and Sriracha handily takes the place of fresh chile pepper. When served up in tacos with black beans, avocado, and feta cheese, this squash makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal that’s light, fresh-tasting, and greater than the sum of its parts.

The lightly caramelized squash contrasts with the tangy vinaigrette, and the smooth, creamy avocado partners with the sharp feta and spicy sriracha for a fabulous taco experience. Overall you’re getting lots of healthy vegetables (something not usually synonymous with tacos), and if that weren’t enough the leftovers reheat beautifully, making for a great lunch the next day.

Chile-Lime Squash Tacos (serves 4)

2 delicata squash

2 tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Dressing

1 clove garlic, crushed

lime juice from 1 lime

2 tsp. sriracha (hot sauce)

4 tbs. olive oil

Beans

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 tsp. cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Accompaniments

1 avocado

2-3 oz. feta (or cotija) cheese

8 soft flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Cut delicata squash into 3/4″ rings and remove seeds. Slice rings in half to make half-circles. Toss with 2 tbs. olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast on a sheet pan until tender and brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.

squash-tacos-slice

3. In the meantime, whisk together all dressing ingredients and pour over the roasted squash. Toss to combine.

4. In a small saucepan, heat beans with cumin, salt, and pepper until heated through.

5. To assemble tacos, spoon beans into tortillas and add a few pieces of squash. Top with sliced avocado, crumbled feta cheese, and (if desired) a drizzle of sriracha.

squash-tacos-garnish

Notes:

  1. You could, of course, use acorn squash for this, though the skin (while technically edible, according to the internet) is thicker and tougher than delicata’s skin.
  2. Some fresh corn and cilantro would be a welcome addition to this recipe, though for weeknight dinners I try to keep things as simple as possible to avoid needing to do last-minute shopping.
  3. That being said, please don’t use lime juice from concentrate. The flavor just isn’t the same.
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