The first time I made these roasted vegetable tacos, I had few expectations beyond using up odds and ends: some leftover tortillas, a handful of carrots and parsnips, a lone sweet potato, half a head of cabbage. Enlivened with a pinch of pantry spices and a squeeze of lime, however, the tacos turned out to be worthy of making again and again, with intention and pleasure.
You can use this recipe with a mix of winter squashes, roots, and tubers — whatever you like and have available from beets to butternut squash, carrots, celeriac, fennel, parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes. Any of these cool weather vegetables will taste sweet and earthy and delectable when roasted with Mexican oregano, cumin, and chile powder (I especially like the Chimayó variety).
As counterpoint to the tender roasted vegetables, the tacos are topped with a refreshing red cabbage, lime, and cilantro slaw, plus crunchy pepitas. A satisfying vegan meal, they bring a pop of color and texture to the winter table.
Tacos with Roasted Winter Vegetables and Red Cabbage Slaw
5 cups (3/4-inch-diced) mixed vegetables (see Notes)
1 red onion, cut into eighths
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (can substitute Mediterranean oregano, marjoram, or omit)
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 small head)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Toss the vegetables and onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, chile powder, cumin, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
At least 15 minutes before serving, toss the shredded cabbage with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate. (Can make up to a day ahead.)
To assemble, warm the tortillas, fill them with roasted vegetables, and top with cabbage slaw. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.
Recipe Notes:• Use any combination of root vegetables and winter squash, such as beets, butternut squash, carrots, celeriac, parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes. Fennel bulbs also make a good addition. • For a non-vegan version, you might garnish the tacos with queso fresco or goat cheese.
(Images: Emily Ho)