Chimichurri may not have been invented for tacos or, for that matter, vegan tacos. But this Argentine condiment shouldn't be limited to the grilled meats it traditionally accompanies. I love chimichurri stirred into vegetables and find that its bright and garlicky, tangy flavor especially complements greens like kale. Add some black beans, wrap it up in a tortilla, and top with avocado, and you have a quick yet flavorful and nutritious weeknight dinner.
If you're like me, most of these ingredients can be found in your kitchen on any given day — a can of beans, a bunch of greens, and a few simple staples that combine to form the most lively and versatile sauce. Rich with the flavors of garlic, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice, the chimichurri needs to stand at least 20 minutes before you use it. However, I prefer the flavor after several hours so I make the sauce the night before, making this dinner even easier to throw together after a long workday.
Heat the kale and beans in a saucepan, stir in the chimichurri, and then spoon the filling into warmed tortillas. Top it with avocado chunks and crunchy pepitas for a well-rounded meal. And the bonus? Hardly any dishes to wash!
Kale and Black Bean Tacos with Chimichurri
Makes 8 tacos
For the chimichurri (makes about 1 cup):
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium shallot, peeled
1 cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley, large stems removed
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (can substitute 2 teaspoons dried)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste (I like using Aleppo pepper)
For the tacos:
8 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
2 tablespoons water
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
8 corn tortillas
2 avocados, chopped just before serving
Pumpkin seeds for garnish
Using a food processor, roughly chop the garlic and shallot. Add the parsley and oregano, and pulse until finely chopped but not puréed. (Alternatively, you can finely chop the ingredients by hand.) Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Skim 2 tablespoons of oil off the top of the chimichurri and heat it in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and water, and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Uncover, add the drained beans, and cook for another minute or so until the kale is tender but still bright and the beans are heated through. Stir in 1/3 cup of chimichurri.
To assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas, fill them with kale and black beans, and top with avocado. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and additional chimichurri, if desired.
Leftover chimichurri: This recipe makes more chimichurri than you will probably need for the tacos. For thoughts on how to use it, check out these 5 Ways to Use Chimichurri Sauce.
(Images: Emily Ho)