Monday, August 14, 2006

A Tasty Taco Treat

Thanks to Jessica at the Knitting shop, I have fallen in love with tortillas. And not just any tortillas, either. At the grocery store down the street they carry a package of 3 dozen corn tortillas--count 'em 3 dozen!--for just 89 cents. Yep, less than a dollar. And they're really good. Soft and moist--they're most excellent when they're heated up and filled with something good.

The microwave will do in a pinch, but it's even better to heat them in a cast iron skillet (a comal would be ideal, but how many people have a comal just lying around their kitchen?) and let them get just the teensiest bit crispy.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them when I bought them, but Jessica has been talking about them for a while and she just made them sound so good I wanted me some. And I almost always have some kind of beans around, so I figured I'd be able to eat them with beans.

A while ago I wrote a review of a Black Bean and Walnut Salad from the 12 Best Foods Cookbook by Dana Jacobi. Black beans, walnuts, parsley and basil are mixed with a red wine and Dijon mustard vinaigrette for a salad that's light, refreshing, and really brings out the nutty flavor of the beans.

And as it turns out, it makes a killer taco. Heat up two corn tortillas for each taco, put them together, fill them with the cold Black Bean and Walnut Salad, and you have a winning combination. I put a little cheddar cheese between the tortillas, mainly because I had it on hand and was looking for ways to use it. The sharpness of the cheese didn't really work that well with the black bean vinaigrette, but some brie or camambert would be awesome.

I realized I never posted the recipe for the Black Bean and Walnut Salad, so here it is. Try it, you'll definitely like it.
Black Bean and Walnut Salad


1/3 cup walnuts
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
1 Small clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 Large basil leaves, rolled and cut into thin strips (or 1 tsp dried)


4 Teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon Creole or Dijon mustard
1 Teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast the nuts in a shallow pan for 10 minutes, until they are fragrant, stirring 2 or 3 times. Set them aside. When they are cool, use your fingers to break them into small pieces. Place the nuts in a medium mixing bowl.

Add the beans, scallion, garlic, parsley, and basil to the nuts. Using a fork, toss to combine.

For the dressing, combine the vinegar, mustard, and salt in a small bowl. Season to taste with the pepper. Whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and stir with a fork to coat evenly. Let it sit 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to meld. Check the seasoning and serve.

Makes 4 servings as a side dish, 2 as a main dish.

12 Best Foods Cookbook, by Dana Jacobi (Rodale, 2005)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And I was just thinking I haven't bought tortillas recently and I miss them........

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