Zucchini tacos two ways ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

08 May 2013

Zucchini tacos two ways

zucchini and egg tacos

We are back from Michigan! Unfortunately, I accidentally left my camera on in my bag overnight, so I have no pictures to give you. But I do have pictures of things I made before we went to Michigan!


Traditional tacos are pretty straightforward: beans or meat, crunchy shredded leaves, and a salsa or garnish of some type. So you get things like fish tacos with cabbage slaw and pickled onions, chicken tacos with shredded lettuce, onion, and cilantro, and straight-up pinto bean tacos with more lettuce and pico de gallo.

Then you start adding more things, and the traditional tacos get blown out of the water.

Don't get me wrong: traditional tacos are amazing and I love them very much. But when the first zucchini start showing up at the farmer's market, I want to eat them every which way, and one way is in the taco of my choice.

Some of you may be saying something along the lines of "UGH! Squash in a taco is an abomination! This is what's wrong with every so-called 'vegetarian burrito' ever made. Why do you torment us so??" Fair point! Most of the time tacos and burritos filled with zucchini (and its awful counterpoint, broccoli, which I flatly do not believe can be saved here) are watery and bland, devoid of protein, and dripping with colorless juice that soaks the tortilla through before you're even halfway through. These tacos are different.

By pan-frying the zucchini with onion and herbs, you not only burn off the offensive juices, but also flavor the resulting vegetable mass beautifully. Adding scrambled egg or refried black beans takes care of the protein problem. And cooking the tortillas over open flame provide an extra element of crispness to fight against the sog factor.

zucchini and egg tacos

I made two different kinds of zucchini tacos: one for breakfast and one for lunch. Both start out in very much the same way.

Saute chopped onion and/or garlic in a frying pan with a little olive oil or butter. While it's softening, toast as many corn tortillas as you want tacos on both sides over the gas flame. You can do this in a frying pan if you have an electric stove, but the gas burner char is really amazing. Put your finished tortillas aside, covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.

Chop up your zucchini and add it to the pan. Salt, pepper, cumin, oregano. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring or tossing frequently. It should take five minutes or so before your zucchini has released all its liquid and begins to turn golden around the edges. This is what you want.

For breakfast tacos: scramble a couple of eggs, either with your finished zucchini or by themselves. Add in a bit of chopped cilantro or green onion if you want. Layer your tortillas with the finished eggs, the zucchini mixture, and a scattering of the cheese of your choice. I used parmesan because we had some lying around.

Hooray! Tacos!

zucchini avocado and black bean tacos

For lunch or dinner tacos: Warm up some black or refried beans in a separate pan, or shove all the zucchini and onion to one side of your frying pan and just warm them in the empty spot.

Layer your tortillas with the hot beans, zucchini, and some sliced avocado. Scatter cilantro over the tops.

Hooray! Double tacos!

What have you been stuffing into tortillas lately?


Cathleen said...

This is making me wonder why I have never made tacos. These look so good!

Michelle said...

Veggie tacos are totally okay (but I love veggie quesadillas more...cheese lover that I am), but there is no place for shredded lettuce in a taco. Cabbage only flies because it's fish and it's a sturdier leaf. When regular lettuce gets all wilty I shudder in horror.

Eileen said...

Lettuce doesn't wilt if you do it right! (By which I mean "eat tacos immediately.") What do you use for the veg crunch factor then? And NEVER MADE TACOS?? Do it, do it!

Marissa said...

Tacos are a staple in our house. I love the idea of zucchini in them!

Kristina @ spabettie said...

when we were backpacking through Mexico 2 Decembers ago, we found this amazing taco cart. being a vegetarian, they improvised for me - my tacos had sauteed mushrooms, pinto beans and parsley.

with all the amazing food we ate on that trip, those tacos are the ones I think about most.

veggie tacos are often unique, and therefore, often better! :) I would LOVE these!

Jes said...

I'm wary to say that I'm excited for zucchini season starting soon (burn-out will quickly occur), but, dang, those tacos look awesome. I always pan fry, but maybe I'll try grilling this year!

Joanne said...

I'd almost always rather have non-traditional tacos so these sound awesome to me!

Cookie and Kate said...

Totally agree: cooked squash can be amazing in tacos! These looks great.

kristina said...

Zucchini tacos sound really cool - with scrambled eggs and hot sauce this is the perfect nutritious breakfast.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Those are pretty tacos! I love zucchini idea - how come I've never even thought of it! Pinned!

noelle said...

I'm totally down with squash in tacos (calabacitas!) so I'm totally going to make these! Thx again, Eileen!

Stephanie said...

I see your tacos! And harrumph to people who smirk at vegetarian tacos-- they're so good! I've made zucchini tacos too, especially when they're really plentiful come summer, and they're so good sauteed with garlic oil. They don't need much!