9.5.14 Black Bean, Chard, and Goat Cheese Tacos
I don’t know how you spent your Labor Day weekend, but I can assure you that mine was spent eating. A lot. It was pretty fantastic. Let’s recap:
This past weekend, besides being Labor Day weekend, was also happened to be my birthday. And when given the option to choose how to spend my birthday, I always pick the same thing: The Minnesota State Fair. Sure it may be hot and humid outside, and sure the fair is going to be completely packed with the most insane amount of people ever, but I still maintain that it’s one of the greatest places on earth. I mean, where else are you going to see sculptures carved out of butter, an 800-lb pig, a portrait of Mr. T made entirely out of crop seeds, and Garrison Keillor all in the same place? Only at the fair. Oh, and the food! First of all, any place with all the milk you can drink for $1 is pretty good in my book. And from there it only gets better. Mini doughnuts, pronto pups, milk shakes, beer - even a waffle cone filled with fried chicken and gravy (with a malted milk ball in the bottom - you know, so you don’t drip gravy all over yourself. Genius.)
I know you’re probably jealous. And you should be - it was amazing. But after all of that fabulous Fair fare, I was feeling a craving for something a bit healthier. Never had green vegetables sounded so appealing (well, at least not since post-Fair 2013). And so I made these tacos. There’s nothing deep fried about them. And replete with black beans, tomatoes, and swiss chard, they’re everything State Fair food isn’t. Besides, in my book, homemade tacos are pretty much always amazing, no matter what’s in them. And as far as veggie tacos go, this one is pretty stellar. Of course some crumbly goat cheese and avocado only add to its general awesomeness.
Black Bean, Chard, and Goat Cheese Tacos
This recipe is not something I just came up with on the spur of the moment. Ever since chard began making an appearance in our CSA boxes, I’ve been whipping up these tacos for breakfast (yup, trust me, these are good for any meal). And not only do these make great tacos, but if you’re feeling adventurous, the filling would be great in tamales or arepas as well.
- 1 large bunch Swiss Chard (about ½ lb)
- 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chipotle powder
- ½ tsp salt, divided
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
- ¼ tsp red chile flakes (optional)
- warm corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese, and hot sauce for serving
1. Prep the chard: Separate the ribs and stems from the leaves (ribs and stems will take longer to cook). Cut the stems into 1 inch pieces, and cut the leaves crosswise into 1 inch strips. Set aside while you prepare the beans.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, chipotle powder, and ¼ tsp of salt. Saute, stirring often, until onions are beginning to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, and continue to cook, stirring often, until tomatoes are soft and releasing liquid, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the black beans, 1 Tbsp lime juice, and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook while you prepare the chard.
5. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil in another large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the chard stems, and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chard leaves and ¼ cup water, cover, and cook until leaves are soft and wilted - about 4-5 minutes.
6. Stir in 1 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp red chile flake if additional heat is desired. Season to taste with additional salt if desired.
7. Check the beans - most of the liquid should be reduced. If too thick, add more water to thin. If a thicker consistency is desired, use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to mash some of the beans. Season to taste with salt.
8. Assemble tacos: Top warmed corn tortillas equally with bean mixture, sauteed chard, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, and crumbled goat cheese. Serve with hot sauce.