Vegan Mushroom Tacos with Charred Tomatillo Sauce

July 25, 2018

Over the past couple years, I’m thrilled to notice the shift in the type of Mexican food we eat in the United States. When I grew up, Mexican food always meant something very heavy—very cheesy and very meaty. More recently in my adult life, I’ve shifted to a plant-based diet, and fortunately, the type of Mexican food consumed in the US, and particularly in California, seems to have shifted to the lighter side as well. It is now the norm to go to a Mexican restaurant in the Bay Area and enjoy an option for vegan tacos.

Here’s what I’m offering up on this beautiful Taco Tuesday: Charred organic corn mixed up with sauteed mushrooms, topped off with my homemade blistered tomatillo sauce, all on top of gluten-free, organic corn tortillas smeared with garlicky mashed black beans.

 

For the Tomatillo Sauce:

10-14 medium sized tomatillos

1/2 cup onion, diced

1 inch jalapeño (depending on how spicy you want it)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Most often you will buy tomatillos with the husk still on (in the background), and you’ll have to peel it off. They come off easily.

Remove husks from tomatillos. The husk and sticky sap between the husk and fruit deter critters from nomming on these before you can. Wash the sap off throughly in cold water.

In Mexico, tomate refers to these green beauties. Jitomate refers to red tomatoes, what we call “tomatoes” in the US. Fun fact!

Set a skillet over high heat over stove top. With no oil, toss in the tomatillos. Blister over high heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until they are, well, blistered.

Once blistered, transfer to your blender or food processor. Blitz with jalapeño. At this point I remove the blades and stir in the diced onion, sea salt, and black pepper by hand. I don’t always like to blitz onion—sometimes it gets too watery. Cover sauce to maintain warmth.

Yeah, it’s a really pretty sauce!

 

For the Mushrooms and Corn:

4 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini)

1 15 oz can organic corn, drained

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp cumin

sea salt and black pepper to taste

While your tomatillos are blistering, get your mushrooms started on the stovetop sauteeing over medium heat in olive oil. Stir occasionally until they begin to soften.

Once you have finished the tomatillo sauce, heat up the corn over medium heat in the same pan you charred the tomatillos in, the thinking here being that the corn will pick up some of the char flavor left behind by the charred tomatillos.

Once corn is warmed up, transfer to the mushrooms, combine, and stir in the cilantro. Add in spices—the cumin loans a bolder flavor.

 

For the Garlicky Mashed Black Beans:

1 15 oz can black beans, drained

1-2 cloves garlic (your call on how “garlicky” you want “garlicky” to be)

paprika to taste (if you want a smoky flavor)

cayenne to taste (if you want some heat)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

There seems to be a lot of hype whenever “garlicky” is involved in the name of a food, but really it is nothing fancy, and super simple. Mince up your garlic cloves, or better yet, don’t mince, and leave some big ol’ chunks. That’s up to you! Pulse briefly in blender or food processor together with black beans, but leave chunks. I smeared the mixture on to a plate with the back of a spoon to mash the black beans a bit more.

The garlicky mashed beans go onto the tortilla first!

For the Tortillas:

X # of corn tortillas

I estimate the average person eats 3-4 tacos. (these numbers will vary wildly depending on who you ask!)

Some people like to double up their tortillas, so it would be 2 tortillas per taco, but for me that depends on how thick the tortilla is, and if you’ll be putting drier or soupy-er elements on top. This is your call.

Yep, I bought these tortillas. I’ve learned how to make tortillas from scratch at cooking lessons in Mexico City, but I. just. can’t. do. everything. homemade. all. the. time. you feel me? When you are buying, just make sure you are getting organic corn, not conventional corn doused in chemicals (god help us).

It’s up to you whether you’re eating the tortillas cold, throwing them on the grill, or frying. I put these on the stovetop in a dab of olive oil and warmed each tortilla on both sides before adding the toppings.

I layered the toppings in the reverse order of how I described them here in this post.

Serve with fresh cilantro, lime wedges, avocado slices, and diced white onion for garnish.

Please tag me @marisalavalette_ in pics of your Insta creations! I want to see!

Do you eat tacos every Tuesday? For lunch or for dinner? Do you eat tacos any day of the week—not just Tuesdays??? What is your fave kind of taco? Do you make it or go out to get it? Please share your taco passions, likes, and inspiration in the comments below! Let me know any questions or your experience preparing this recipe, too. #tacotuesday

 

Marisa LaValette

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