Olé! Vegan Tacos with Salted Grilled Plantains, Salsa Verde and Pepitas
Vegan curious? The collection of chef-created recipes in Living the Farm Sanctuary Life (Rodale, 2015) will convert you and your dinner mates, including this street-vegan gem from Jason Wyrick, renowned vegan cooking teacher and author of Vegan Tacos (Vegan Heritage, 2014). “If the tortilla is the soul of a taco, then the filling is the body, and fresh lime and spicy salsa are the life of it,” says Wyrick. “It’s the fusion of all three of these components that makes tacos the perfect handheld meal. Because the traditional tortilla for a taco is only about 5½ inches in diameter, one serving is usually two or three tacos—or four if you’re hungry!”
Makes 12 tacos
Time to make: 25 to 35 minutes
2 cups fresh masa (corn dough for making tortillas) or 12 small premade corn tortillas
2 medium semi-ripe plantains, peeled
1 tablespoon garlic-infused oil
Grated peel and juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1½ cups salsa verde (premade, brand of your choice)
¾ cup toasted pepitas
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1. Heat a grill, preferably using mesquite wood. If using a gas grill, bring to medium heat and add soaked mesquite chips in the smoking box.
2. While the grill is coming to temperature, make the tortillas. Bring a griddle or comal to medium heat. Lay plastic wrap over the bottom flap of your tortilla press.
3. Take 2 to 2½ tablespoons of the masa and form it into a ball. Lay this on the plastic wrap, just slightly off center toward the hinges of the press. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap at least the size of the tortilla press flap over the masa ball. Press down firmly until the masa is flat and you have a tortilla ready to be cooked. This takes a little practice, so if your first few tortillas don’t turn out right, simply re-form the dough into a ball and press it again. Make as many uncooked tortillas as your griddle can handle before laying them on the hot griddle. Typically this will be 2 to 4 tortillas. Make sure to press each tortilla in its own plastic wrap and keep them in the wrap until you are ready to lay them on the griddle.
4. Remove the top layer of the plastic sheet. Flip the tortilla over and remove the other layer. Gently lay it on your griddle. Cook the first side for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you see the edges of the tortilla change color. Flip the tortilla over and cook for 1 minute. Flip it back over one more time and cook it for another 30 seconds. Remove the tortillas from the heat, stacking them and keeping them covered so they don’t dry out.
5. Brush the plantains with the oil. Grill them until they are heavily browned on both sides. Remove them from the grill and chop into bite-size pieces. Immediately toss them with the lime peel and juice and then the salt and chile powder.
6. To each tortilla, add the plantains, 2 tablespoons of the salsa verde, 1 tablespoon of the pepitas, and the cabbage.