Tuscan Tacos

Tuscan Tacos

We have a Chard Situation developing over here.  If I can negotiate a chard-for-oil deal, we won't have to buy gas for seven years.

Thankfully, Emily is helping address the excess.  For a long time, she came for dinner the second Tuesday of every month. Then summer and other things interfered, and we've been off our routine.  We've officially resumed, and now it's every third Tuesday--the same day I bake cakes for Recovery Cafe. Lots of cooking on third Tuesdays.

Well, sort of.  My rule for having people over (and especially on weeknights) is that we eat like we would if they weren't here. Then we can spend our time talking instead of cooking.  When Emily comes over, it really is a regular night--she checks her email, I fold laundry, her and Yancey do the dishes while I give the kids baths. (They like to talk architecture, which is way over my head--I don't think I've mentioned how spatially challenged I am).

Em is mostly vegan, so it gives me a little cooking challenge, and we eat better when she's with us.  (Did you know that, Em?) Less cheese never killed anyone.  Last night I knew we had to do our duty with the chard--at least two pounds per person to avoid our house being engulfed.  The rest followed--a pot of white beans cooked up on Monday, some chewy corn tortillas, cherry tomatoes and herbs from the garden.

little darlings

I bought the beans, labeled "Little White Beans," at a produce stand in Central Washington.  They were grown and dried on an adjacent farm.  Whatever their real name is (maybe that's it?), they were creamy and delicious.  Wyatt had three helpings.

And about that chard--I cooked up a big batch for Em to take home (Sheesh.  I'm worse than the mystery Zucchini Gifter). Yancey smelled them and said he wanted some for his lunch.  Em called right after she got home and said she was standing in her kitchen, eating them with her fingers right out of the yogurt container. I can always count on her when I'm held hostage in Chard Affairs.

And tonight, more beans, chard, and brown rice, this time with roasted Hatch chiles and white cheddar.  I had to eat 3 Tums directly afterward (I think I ate 5 whole chiles), but it was worth it.

Tuscan Tacos
Serves 4.  This is a dorky fusion-foodish name.  I wasn't sure what else to call them.  Plus, I like the alliteration--TusCan TaCos. Anyway (yawn--those English majors are boring!), you can definitely just open a can of beans here.  No need to go crazy with all the soaking and *&%.  Your canned beans won't be creamy like mine were, but you'll survive.  And you can use other greens--spinach, kale, collards--instead of chard.  Better yet, come get some from my house.  Bring a full gas can and we'll make a trade.

10 or 12 corn tortillas, warmed
2 cups cannellini or navy beans, from a can or cooked yourself (if they're from a can, warm them with a little of their liquid and mash them up a tiny bit)
2 c. hot brown rice
4 oz. chevre
handful fresh greens and herbs (I used arugula and basil)
8 cups chopped fresh leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach, collards)
4 Tb. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 Tb. chopped fresh rosemary
more olive oil

For greens: Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic and saute garlic until soft (not browned), about two minutes.  Add greens--you may need to do it gradually as they'll likely not all fit in the pan at first.  Saute and add salt until they're wilted but still bright green, about five minutes.

For tomatoes: Quarter cherry tomatoes and toss with rosemary, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.

To assemble tacos: Put all toppings in the middle of the table and wrap up little bites of Tuscan heaven.  Talk about how much you're saving on your fuel bill.