Skip to main content

Red Walnut, Roasted Cauliflower, and Crisped Shiitake Soft Tacos


Years ago I saved a recipe for Roasted Walnut and Cauliflower "Meat"; you can read the recipe here. If you're looking for a tasty, meatless option for Taco Tuesday, try it!


I was intrigued by the combination of nuts and cruciferous and decided to give it a go. And, for a quick weeknight meal, after robotics meetings and music lessons, I assembled soft tacos for the family.

According to a survey conducted by the California Walnut Board, flavor and texture are the top reasons people choose meat-centric dishes over plant-based alternatives. This dish mirrors the meatiness with a hearty vegetable and a toothy nut.

Red Walnut, Roasted Cauliflower, and 
Crisped Shiitake Soft Tacos 
original recipe serves 6

Ingredients
walnut-cauliflower "meat"
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets
  • 1 C walnut pieces, chopped (I used raw red walnuts)
  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 shallots, peeled and minced
  • ½ C chicken stock (or water)
  • ¼ C tomato paste
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin, ground
  • 1 t fresh oregano 
  • Also needed: food processor, baking sheets
crisped shiitakes
  • 2 C shiitakes, desteemed and sliced
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
for serving
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • shredded cheese
  • guacamole
  • salsa
  • fresh cilantro

Procedure
walnut-cauliflower "meat"
Preheat oven to 475ºF. Place cauliflower florets in a mixing bowl and toss with 1 T olive oil and 1 T lemon juice. Spoon cauliflower out onto a silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned.

Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF and sprinkle walnuts on top of the cauliflower. Return sheet to the oven and roast for an additional 5 minutes.

In batches, pulse the walnut-cauliflower mixture until it resembles the texture of cooked ground meat.

Heat remaining (1 T) olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic. Sauté until shallots are softened, approximately 5 minutes.

Stir in stock or water, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir in the cauliflower mixture. Cook until mixture is thick and liquid has reduced.

crisped shiitakes
Melt butter in olive oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. When the butter begins to brown, lay your mushrooms in the pan. Make sure that you can see the bottom between the mushrooms and that the mushrooms aren't touching.

Let the mushrooms brown and crisp. Flip the mushrooms and crisp them on the other side. Only after they are crisp should you season them. Adding salt when they are cooking will lead to soggy mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

for serving
Warm your tortillas and melt a handful of cheese onto the tortillas. Spoon the meat into the tortilla. Top with crisped mushrooms and fresh cilantro. Let diners add guacamole and salsa if desired.

Comments

  1. We have been doing taste tests around town of the roasted cauliflower appetizer options--(sometimes trying to mirror buffalo wings). I want to try this. I wonder if you could fool the taco eater?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P