Shelly should be writing this post, because she is the self-proclaimed taco ambassador. I will humbly do my best to portray what we both consider a delectable and worthy, albeit unconventional, addition to our taco hall of fame.
Like many of Shelly and I’s favorite recipes, this one starts with roasting vegetables. You want a butternut squash and a poblano pepper. There is no meat nor dairy in this taco, unless you want to add some avocado crema to top. The squash provides a substantive taco base, while the poblanos give it a distinct Mexican flavor and some heat.
Jícama is an underground mystique. It is a Mexican pale brown root vegetable with a crisp, sweet taste that can be eaten raw or cooked. I prefer my jicama raw, as it was served in my elementary school cafeteria. For our relish, we threw one peeled jicama into the food processor to finely dice it, and mixed it with chopped radishes, sweet white corn, cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon.
The art of taco assembly is nothing to take lightly. It is imperative that you warm the tortillas. We don’t bother with a pan, we just through it on our gas stove and let it sit on the fire a second or two. After your tortilla has been thoroughly warmed, lay some cumin-spiced squash on top, a couple strips of roasted poblano, a generous scoop of your jicama-corn relish, and some avocado. We invite you to open your minds to a new dawning of taco celebration.
Butternut Squash Tacos with Poblanos and Jicama-Corn Relish
1 medium butternut-squash
1 whole poblano pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt, black pepper, and cumin to taste
Start by halving the squash and removing the seeds and pith with a spoon from the center. Brush both vegetables with the olive oil and spices. Lay the squash on a flat pan and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and 20 minutes, throwing the poblano in for the last 20 minutes. Scoop the meat out of the squash and into a small bowl, a mash with a fork. Add salt, pepper, or cumin to desired taste. Cut the poblano into thin strips and set aside until taco assembly.
1 medium jicama, peeled and diced manually or through a food processor
1 1/2 cups sweet white corn, cooked and cooled, or just thawed from freezer
1 big handful cilantro leaves, chopped
half of 1 small lemon
After dicing and chopping the vegetables as recommended, throw together in a bowl, squeezing the juice out of the lemon and mix well.
Avocado Crema (optional):
1 tbsp greek yogurt or sour cream
juice of half a small lime
pinch sea salt
Mix all ingredients well in a small bowl, and use to top your lucky taco. If you’re lazy or a purist, you can just slice some avocado right on top in place of the crema.