Since it’s taco Tuesday, here is another vegetarian taco recipe. Not your traditional taco recipe, but a mash up of Middle Eastern and South American flavors. Crunchy cauliflower which I pan-roasted with sumac and za’atar, creamy baba ganoush, zesty chimichurri and for extra flavor and texture fried leeks. A messy eat but well worth it.
This recipe is for 12 small tacos.
For the baba ganoush:
2 large eggplants
1/3 cup of tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
¾ of a teaspoon of garlic powder
¾ of a teaspoon of paprika powder
¾ of a teaspoon of onion powder
Pinch of cumin
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne
For the cauliflower:
½ a head of cauliflower
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Pinch of lemon pepper
Pinch of salt
1 ½ tablespoons of sumac
1 ½ tablespoons of Za’atar
Pinch of black pepper
For the fried leeks:
Vegetable oil, about 2 cups
For the chimichurri:
2 cups of flat leaf parsley, firmly packed and without hard stems
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bird’s eye chili, chopped
1 tablespoons of dried oregano
½ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon of salt
12 small tortillas
½ cup of pomegranate seeds
Start by making the baba ganoush, preheat your oven to 230C/446F and rub the skin of the eggplants with a bit of olive oil. Place them whole on a tray lined with parchment paper and roast them for 30 minutes.
Once they are roasted, slice them in half and spoon out the flesh. Place the tahini in the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Then add the eggplant and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until you have a smooth dip. Taste for salt and adjust the spices to your liking. Set it aside to cool.
To make the chimichurri, place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is very fine. Set it aside.
To make the cauliflower, chop it into small chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon pepper, salt, sumac, Za’atar and black pepper. Mix it well.
Heat up a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the seasoned cauliflower including any oil left in the bowl. Cook the cauliflower for about 7 minutes, stirring from time to time. Set it aside.
To make the fried leeks, thinly slice them the sizes of matchsticks (only the white and pale green parts). Then heat up the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Have a plate lined with paper towels ready. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced leeks in small batches. Cook until lightly golden and then place them on the prepared plate. Repeat until you are done.
To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Add some baba ganoush to each tortilla, then the cauliflower and a drizzle of chimichurri. Finally add the fried leeks and pomegranate seeds.