Here’s to another Tuesday, and another taco. I’m choosing tacos as a focus for the summer because with less effort you can still have a tasty, fun, and fresh meal literally in your hot little hands in under 45 minutes, and probably in a lot less with some shortcuts of store bought salsa or toppings borrowed from the salad bar at Whole Foods or wherever. Tacos are also a great way to feature the peak produce, either locally grown and in season or exciting tropical fruits and vegetables.
The focus of today’s taco is a smoky rub, made from pre-ground pantry spices, that can be applied to roasted or grilled things to fill up tacos. In this instance cauliflower gets the rub-down; this aromatic blend adheres wonderfully to mild cauliflower (and a big sweet locally grown carrot), and when roasted to perfection is both toothsome and surprisingly hearty for an all-veggie taco filling. The toppings are what I have on hand, in this instance a ripe mango and and some scallions that had to be used ASAP…but I’ll confese making a run to the store to find a perfectly ripe avocado, because some corners can’t be cut.
I love this rub and will likely feature it on upcoming Taco Tuesdays, so if you do find yourself with extra rub I’ll find a good and proper use for you very soon! Or you could use it right now to rim the glass of a spicy margarita, made with a little mezcale, please.
Cauliflower Chipotle Tacos with Mango Lime Salsa
Makes about 6 tacos
I had some parsley to use, so into the salsa it went too!
1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
1 tablespoon sweet or hot paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt or sea salt
Mango Lime Salsa
1 mango, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
Handful finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 scallion, root ends trimmed and thinly sliced
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced (optional)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt to taste
Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos
1 head cauliflower
1 large carrot
Olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
Corn or wheat flour tortillas
Sliced avocado or guacamole
1. In a small cup combine together the rub ingredients. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the cauliflower into quarters, slice away and discard the thick inner stems and leaves. Slice the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Peel and slice the carrot into strips about 1/4 inch thick. Pour the vegetables into a bowl, sprinkle on the rub and gently toss the veggies until coated with the rubbing spices.
2. Drizzle or spray the baking sheet with olive oil, then into a single layer spread the vegetables. Drizzle or spray veggies with oil, pop into the oven and roast for 18 minutes. Remove from oven, gently stir the vegetables and roast another 5 minutes or until tender and golden brown. While the vegetables are roasting, combine all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl.
3. To serve, heat the tortillas until soft, pile with veggies and top with mango salsa and avocado/guacamole. Stop reading this and eat some tacos already!