Kale and Onion Tacos with Guajillo Salsa

Kale may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re making Mexican food, but trust me, it should be. Whether or not kale actually grows in Mexico, I’m not sure, but it goes really nicely with tortillas and is much healthier than say, carne asada, so I’ll stick with it

After loving the kale enchiladas I made a few months ago, I knew it was only a matter of time before kale tacos would make an appearance on the dinner table. Since our favorite farmers market vendor loves to give us about twice as much as we pay for whenever we buy vegetables, the refrigerator was recently overflowing with two different varieties of kale. I used the curly kale to make kale chips (toss with olive oil and salt and bake until crispy – better than Lays. Seriously), but saved the Tuscan kale, which I’d never used before, for these tacos.

Because there’s not a lot of protein going on here, I served these with black beans, and next time I think I might just mix black beans in with the filling. And if the idea of kale tacos doesn’t excite you, at least try the salsa. It’s seriously some of the best salsa I’ve ever made. Rick Bayless, you are truly amazing.

Recipe:
(adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)

Tacos:
1 bunch Tuscan kale (tough stems removed), cut into strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
pinch red pepper flakes
salt
8 corn tortillas
4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir a few times, then add the kale. Cook, stirring, until the kale is soft (about 7 minutes), adding water if it gets too dry and the pan begins to scorch. Add salt to taste, then remove from heat.

Heat the tortillas in a warm oven, or directly over the flame of a gas range for a few seconds on each side. Put a little filling in each tortilla, top with salsa (recipe below) and crumbled cheese.

Salsa:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 quajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 medium tomatillos, husks removed, sliced in half horizontally
1/3 cup water

Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the chiles in the hot oil and turn every few seconds until very fragrant (about 30 seconds total). Remove with tongs and let as much oil drip off as possible.
Pour out the oil and wipe the skillet with a paper towell. Heat the garlic and tomatillos (seed side down) until browned on the bottom, then flip them over. They will cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat, and put the garlic and tomatillos into the blender with the chiles and 1/3 cup water. Blend until almost smooth, then add salt to taste. Pour into a bowl to cool.

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