Here’s the rub: Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos

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!

Chipotle rub

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!

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