I’m going to get a little existential on you with some food philosophy. When I cook, it’s important to me to honor the essence of the ingredients, to bring out what’s fabulous about the ingredient versus trying to alter it or cover it.
When I’m cooking a thing, it’s all about maintaining the integrity of the thing. Be it animal or vegetable.
So I think to myself, how can I make these beautiful ingredients: eggplant, cilantro, avocado, and tomato burst into a new thing that’s even better than it’s original self?
I’m saying this because I don’t want you to think of the eggplant as a meat substitute. It’s a whole new experience. Let’s allow the eggplant to be herself.
She won’t disappoint.
Love your ingredients. All they really want in their short lives is to please and impress you.
Eggplant Tacos with Cilantro Pesto
2 Japanese eggplants, or 1 regular sliced in 1/4 pieces lengthwise
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, sliced to 1/4 inch or less
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mild chile powder (like chile molido pasado)
1 TBL olive oil
salt & pepper
4-8 corn tortillas
1/2 ripe avocado
2 cups cilantro, stems are ok
4 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup walnuts
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
Heat oven to 400. Drizzle a little of the olive oil on a cookie sheet. Arrange eggplant, onions, and tomato on sheet, spreading them out as much as possible. Drizzle with more oil. Sprinkle all over with cumin, chile powder, and salt & pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 10 minutes then remove tomatoes to a plate to cool, add garbanzo beans to sheet, flip veggies to other side, and roast for another 7-10 minutes.
For pesto: Add cilantro, garlic, nuts, lime juice, and salt & pepper to a food processor. Pulse until combined. Slowly add olive oil while pulsing until desired consistency is reached.
To assemble tacos, spread a little pesto on a heat tortilla, add some of your roasted veggies, a slice of avocado, a sprinkle of feta cheese, and hot sauce if you like. We are partial to Frank’s. Enjoy!