Much of what I am learning about the history, customs and rituals of The Americas is via food. As with any culture, the United States is not only heavily influenced by the traditions within its fifty states, but also by its surrounding nations.
Cinco de Mayo (‘Five of May' in Spanish), is a vibrant Mexican tradition enthusiastically celebrated in the US. While in history, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces in 1862, outside of Mexico, celebrations are heavily rooted in cuisine, culture and music. In early May, the celebration is ubiquitous in restaurants and bars across New York City and all over the region. For me, while I need no excuse to eat Mexican cuisine, it is also a great occasion to appreciate delicious food while learning about the history and traditions of my adopted home.
This week, I’ve joined a community of bloggers in a virtual fiesta, celebrating the best of Mexican food. My contribution is my favorite plant-powered taco dish right now. It features pan-fried Brussels sprouts, wild mushrooms, accented by avocado, feta, and a zesty tomatillo salsa. The result is incredibly more-ish, filling and full of flavor, just like Mexican food should be!
Brussels Sprout, wild mushroom, avocado and feta tacos with tomatillo salsa
In Australia or elsewhere where tomatillos are not common, simply substitute with cucumber or another tomato.
gf / vegan if you omit feta and yoghurt
- 1 lb / 500g Brussels sprouts, sliced
- ½ lb / 250g wild mushrooms (such as oyster, shiitake, beech or maitake), cleaned and trimmed
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, deseeded and sliced
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 12 (or more) soft corn tortillas
- 1 lime, cut into 8 small wedges
- handful of cilantro leaves
- extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
Tomatillo and tomato salsa
- ½ clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 small tomatillo, finely diced
- 1 roma tomato, finely diced
- ½ serrano or green chlli, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup greek yoghurt
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
For the tomatillo salsa, stir together the garlic, tomatillo, tomato and chilli. Spoon in the yoghurt and mix well to combine. Add a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil until it is smooth and creamy. You are looking for the consistency of thickened cream. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
In a large frypan, add some olive oil and add half the chopped garlic. Cook for a few seconds and then add the sliced Brussels sprouts. Season with sea salt and cook until the leaves are golden and tender. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat the other half of garlic along with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the wild mushrooms, a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are softened and the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. Set aside.
To serve, fill your tacos with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, a slice of avocado and top with feta and cilantro. Serve with tomatillo salsa and a squeeze of lime.