Tuesday, October 11, 2011

spinach pesto tacos with roasted tomatillo salsa?

i love spinach, love mexican food and love interesting taste combinations...so when i saw this week was spinach week at fall fest i immediately thought of the perfect recipe to share. how does this sound...a spicy,smooth, nutty pesto made with spinach added to warm corn tortilla tacos?  topped with onions, lettuce and sharp cheddar cheese...then finished with a couple spoonfuls of delicious roasted tomatillo salsa?  the colors alone are amazing.   best of all, the recipe is easy and healthy....loads of vegetables in this meal.

tomatillo salsa and spinach pesto
spinach is such a versatile green...mild in flavor, full of nutrients and wonderful sautéed.  i add it to everything...pasta sauces, egg dishes, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, dips, soups, lasagna...you name it.  but i really enjoy different and unusual ways to prepare this healthy food. last year for spinach week i shared a recipe for mixed vegetable fritters on spinach with honey mustard vinaigrette ...this year?  mexican food has been my craving.  the spinach pesto is made with spinach, walnuts, garlic, onions and jalapeños and extra virgin olive oil...really good as the main filling for soft tacos...but also nice with pasta or as a topping for bruschetta.

have you cooked with tomatillos before?  if not, go out and buy some immediately.  tomatillos are part of the nightshade family...like tomatoes...and are a key ingredient in mexican food cooking.  they are small and green...they look like small tomatoes except they are covered with a papery husk.  the husk is super simple to remove...and then all that is required is a brief roasting...15-20 minutes and they are ready to use.  i love tomatillo salsa...i make is all the time.  see the end of the recipe for serving suggestions.

are you a spinach fan?  if so, please share your favorite recipes in the comments section of this post...and tell me what you think of this recipe...i would love your thoughts and feedback...

spinach pesto tacos with roasted tomatillo salsa
1 package corn tortillas. (i love the sprouted corn tortillas from food life found at whole foods)
1 recipe spinach pesto
chopped onions
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 recipe roasted tomatillo salsa
chopped cilantro

assemble tacos:  warm tortillas directly over gas flame or in a pan until pliable.  add approx 2 tablespoons pesto to each tortilla.  top with lettuce, onions, cheese, tomatillo salsa and cilantro.  serve immediately.
i love the shades of green

spinach pesto
3 cups fresh organic spinach, washed
1 cup walnuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 large white onion, peeled and cut in large chunks
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, washed
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired (i like mine spicy so i don't bother)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of sea salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
pinch dried red pepper flakes

combine all ingredients in food processor or blender.  process until smooth.  taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

roasted tomatillo salsa
1 pint tomatillos, papery husks removed
1 white onion, chopped
2 jalapeños
4 garlic cloves, peeled
juice of one lime
1/2 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
pinch sea salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch dried red pepper flakes

preheat oven to 425 degrees.  line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  add whole tomatillos, 1/2 of the chopped onion and the jalapeños to prepared sheet.  roast in oven 15 minutes.  let cool slightly.  remove stem from jalapeños and add them, along with the rest of the roasted vegetables, to blender.  add remaining ingredients and process until combined but still a bit chunky.  taste and adjust seasonings.  serve with tacos.  also delicious as a dip with corn chips, on burritos and quesadillas, a topping for eggs, cooked with roasted pork....you will find many uses for this salsa...
now it is your turn to participate in fall fest. simply leave your apple tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below, and then go visit food network and do the same same. join the conversation on twitter at #cookingwith and be sure to check out these delicious sounding recipes from the other participating bloggers:
What's Gaby Cooking: Spinach-Artichoke Cups
From My Corner of Saratoga: Cannelloni Stuffed With Ricotta Spinach
And Love It Too: Bacon Infused Wilted Spinach
Virtually Homemade: Spinach Pepita (Pumpkin Seed) Pesto
Cooking With Elise: Spinach and Artichoke Fondue
Glory Foods: Creamed Spinach
The Sensitive Epicure: Catalan Spinach With Raisins, Pine Nuts and Bacon
CIA Dropout: Spinach and Cheddar Frittata
FN Dish: Stuffed Spinach Recipes


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style™ "

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Liz Hughes said...

Yes great minds think alike. Love the tip on the corn tortillas. We always make street tacos at our house with leftover meat. We'll add spinach pesto next time!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks liz!