Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Tasting Summer: Black Bean & Tomatillo Taco Salad
I love summer’s abundance. So many good gifts of flavor. When I wasn’t denying myself the "convenience" of processed foods, I didn’t rely so fully on what was in season and readily available, and thus I didn’t know what each week of summer really tasted like. Now, with the help of our amazing CSA, every week has a distinct flavor. And since we paid for it months ago, every Friday’s bounty of produce feels like the proverbially-unattainable free lunch.
If only the produce lasted longer than a few days. We usually eat all of it before the weekend is over.
Today I’ll give you a tiny glimpse into what food prep is like for me now. About half of the items used to create this lovely black bean and tomatillo taco salad with avocado dressing were from our CSA.
From our CSA: kale, beet greens, white and red onions, hot peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos.
From the pantry/fridge: cilantro, lime juice, avocado, olive oil, salt/spices, organic whole-milk yogurt, and Trader Joe’s Black Refried Beans (all natural)
We so enjoyed this salad. The mix of beet greens and kale as the salad base was hearty and filling, taking well to the flavor w h a c k ! of avocado/tomatillo. I might use whole black beans tossed in lime juice and cilantro, or whole pinto beans next time.
For the tomatillo salsa, I boiled the tomatillos until they sort of cracked open and became soft at the touch of a fork, then poured out some of the liquid, mashed them into the remaining liquid, and let them reduce to flavor-packed perfection. If I had more time to kill, I wouldn’t have lost one drip of the liquid, but let it all simmer and just increase the reduction time, thus locking in more flavor.
I whipped this up in about 45 minutes, which yes, did take longer than I’d like for one meal to be prepared, but it was mostly chopping, and waiting for the tomatillos to reduce, so I imagine the time could be slashed if a couple people worked together.
I'm going to give Dave the role of sous-chef next time.