Vallen's Go-To Weeknight Tacos
"Cilantro pesto and crispy chickpeas make for a delicious, easy weeknight taco!"Serves 3-4 | Prep Time 15 | Cook Time 5-10
Why I Love This Recipe
This recipe is from recipe creator Rainbow Plant Life, and we make this at least once a week in our household! It's quick, yummy, and very flexible - if you don't want to make homemade pesto, buy one from the store; if you only have black beans on hand, use those; if you want to add another veggie, go for it! We personally love to add pickled red onion.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 (15-ounce/425g) can of chickpeas, drained
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Squeeze of lime juice
½ cup roasted cashews (or pistachios or walnuts)
2 ½ cups loosely packed cups of cilantro leaves and tender stems (no tough stems)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium lemon or 1 large lime, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 corn tortillas
Your favorite store-bought salsa
1 large avocado, sliced or diced
1. If your nuts are raw, spread them out on a sheet pan and roast for 7 to 10 minutes at 350ºF, tossing halfway through.
2. Transfer the chickpeas to a clean dish towel or a layer of paper towels and gently pat dry as much as you can without smushing them. They need to be well-dried before cooking.
3. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat with the 2 teaspoons of oil and spread the oil out with a paper towel to evenly distribute it. Once hot, add the chickpeas and spread out in a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes to allow some browning. Toss and cook for another 3 minutes, or until chickpeas are golden brown and blistered in spots.
4. Add salt and spices, and toss well to coat the chickpeas. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes to allow flavors to blend, then take off the heat and hit with a squeeze of lime juice.
5. Meanwhile, make the cilantro pesto. Add the nuts to a food processor and blitz until in very tiny pieces.
Add the cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, lemon (or lime) zest, 2 tablespoons lemon (or lime) juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and blend until a paste forms. Scrape the paste towards the middle. Turn on the motor and stream in the olive oil until it comes together into a sauce. If needed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to bring it all together, or add it for a thinner sauce. Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt as needed.
6. To char corn tortillas: If you have a gas stove, turn a burner to medium-low and use tongs to place the tortilla directly over the flame, 10 to 20 seconds per side until charred, in spots.
Or, you can add each tortilla to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 15 to 30 seconds per side. Stack and wrap charred tortillas in a dish towel to keep them warm.
7. To assemble the tacos, spoon some cilantro pesto into the center of each tortilla. Add a handful of the spiced chickpeas. Top with diced avocado and salsa.
Pairs Well With
Margarita (or jalapeno margarita!) and/or chips & salsa