Thursday, January 19, 2012

Braised Winter Greens Tacos with Queso Fresco and Tomato Chipotle Salsa


After the gastronomic sins of December, we are on the search for healthy dinner options and I suspect many of you are also looking to eat healthier this year. Given hectic schedules and unpredictable work hours, it can be challenging to find healthy dinner options that are quick, easy to make, and use accessible ingredients.

These tacos are perfect for an easy, nutrient-rich weeknight dinner. Simply braise dark greens with onions, garlic and some crushed red pepper.  I used what I had on hand - a mix of spinach, beet greens (hence the pink onions in the photograph), and turnip greens- but any combination of nutrient-rich, dark greens would work well. If you are using heartier, more mature greens, simply blanch them before sauteing so that they will cook faster.


What elevates these tacos to another level is the tomato chipotle salsa. The tomato chipotle salsa is super easy to make, and even more so if you already have the chipotles around. I generally buy a can of chipotles en adobo sauce, use two chiles and keep the rest in the freezer for use in a pinch. Just blend two chipotle chiles with a little adobo sauce, an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, and 2 cloves of garlic.


Previously I made a roasted tomatillo chipotle salsa which was wonderfully tangy, smokey, and spicy. This tomato chipotle salsa isn't roasted and is much quicker to make while still having the tangy flavor of the tomato sauce and the smokey spiciness from the chipotles en adobo sauce.

Heat tortillas on a hot griddle pan or wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon in sauteed greens, tomato chipotle salsa, and top with crumbled queso fresco or feta. Delicious!



Tomato Chipotle Salsa

1 8oz can of tomato sauce
2 chipotles en adobo sauce with some sauce
2 whole cloves of garlic
sea salt

Blend all of the ingredients until coarse puree. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Makes 1 cup. Will keep covered in refrigerator up to a week.

Braised Winter Greens Tacos with Queso Fresco and Tomato Chipotle Salsa

2 bunches of dark greens (chard, collard greens, mustard greens, beet greens or turnip greens), rinsed thoroughly, stemmed and chopped into 1" ribbons
1 medium onion red or yellow, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
sea salt
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1 cup tomato chipotle salsa
12 corn tortillas

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, cooking until translucent but still crunchy. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add greens and season lightly with salt. Cook covered on low heat, until greens are almost tender, anywhere from 2 minutes for spinach, 5 minutes for Swiss chard, and 8-10 minutes for beet greens, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and increase heat to medium and stir until the mixture is nearly dry. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Set aside. Can be made a day in advance, store covered and chilled.

Heat tortillas on a hot griddle pan or wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon in sauteed greens, tomato chipotle salsa, and top with crumbled queso fresco.

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