Summer may be winding down, but it's still not time to bust out your favorite fall recipes. Save the cinnamon sticks, apples, and squash for late September and relish in the glorious vegetable offerings of August. It's that time of year where everything is at its growing peak and gardens are dressed with fruits and vegetables with colors ranging from celadon to cerise.
With my fridge overflowing with all things lovely from Trader Joe's garden, I decided to cook a veggie-centered lunch for Dan and I on Sunday. I had been wanting to try a recipe for zucchini and corn tacos for a bit, but a quick revisit to the recipe left me uninspired as the ingredients looked a little boring. So, I went to my fridge of overflowing veggie goodness and started gathering anything and everything that I could. Ultimately, my adaptation became a sassier, saucier (literally), and more sultry (if I do say so myself) version of the rough draft. I prepared the vegetables a bit differently, turned the lackluster taco into a tantalizing tostada, and sassed-up the overall flavor with some homemade arugula-cilantro crema. I hope you and your vegetables enjoy this nutritious dish.*
Vegetable Tostada with Arugula-Cilantro Crema
For the tostada (Adapted from SELF.com):
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernals
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
8 corn tortillas
Pea shoots for topping
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Arugula-Cilantro Crema:
1 cup loosely packed baby arugula
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
1 garlic clove
juice from 1 lime
½ tsp sea salt, add more to your liking
1. Heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Toast fresh corn for five minutes with a dash of sea salt. Remove corn and set aside.
2. Heat remaining 1.5 tbsp olive oil in empty skillet. Cook minced garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and cook 3-5 minutes. Add sliced zucchini and cook until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Add corn, black beans, salt and pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
3. While you are waiting for the veggies to cook, heat an additional skillet over high heat and place corn tortillas over heat, one at a time. Cook both sides of tortilla until they are slightly browned and blistered and the tortilla becomes stiff. Repeat for each tortilla. Set tortillas aside.
4. For the arugula-cilantro crema, blend arugula, cilantro, mayo, sour cream, garlic, lime juice and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth adding more sour cream by the teaspoonful as needed.
5. Layer each tortilla with ½ cup warm vegetable mixture, a dollop of arugula-cilantro crema, and a small handful of pea shoots. Enjoy!
*Dan enjoyed this dish so much he licked his plate and offered to write a guest blog entry on the perks of dating a foodie. Look for it in the future!