go-to tacos

and just like that, another week has gone by. this past week was an especially busy one it seemed - from wine and cheese catch ups with hol and stace (co-workers turned friends), to a fiesta themed surprise birthday party for stacie (college mentor), to celebrating a graduation for shay (first post-grad roommate), an engagement for cole (college bff), and brunch with mom (mothers day celebration holla). a full rich week, to say the least, and for that i'm thankful.

it was also a week of a few goodbyes (but isn't that how it always seems to go). for the last 7 months, i've been able to work alongside my fam at their amazing company that they've grown and run and loved for the past 30 years. but on friday, i had my last day in order to say hello a company that i've loved and followed for a long time. it was certainly bittersweet and i'd by lying if i said i didn't cry a little bit on my way home as i drove away from servpro and into this next unknown adventure.

in some ways though that's what i love about life. the beauty and the messy are usually smacked right next to each other, with all the guts and glory that comes with that. and you learn a little bit more about how to laugh loudly in the midst of celebration and that uncute smeared mascara is just going to be a thing when things feel kind of sad. and sometimes you even say who the frick cares and go to the grocery story with said smeared mascara because there aren't enough hours in the day and you still need to pick up kale for dinner on your way home.

so all that to say this last week was a lot of things but it was ALSO cinco de mayo and with that comes the unspoken law of eating tacos and drinking margaritas in order to really do the day right. this is a taco recipe i found last year that quickly became, for us, the taco recipe to beat all taco recipes and we've made it again and again and again since that very first bite. we've served it to people who love and dig the vegetarian thing and to those who are very much committed to their meat - both have given us stellar marks. so here it is for all of you to enjoy... pull the recipe out for your next fiesta or plain old tuesday night dinner.

i promise you won't be disappointed. at least we're certainly not ever :)

also, a HUGE special thanks to a couple cooks for creating this recipe (that was the original blog where I stumbled upon this taco goodness). you are clearly cooking geniuses and we love you for bringing such an amazing vegetarian taco option to the rest of the world (and I guess especially us).

so here we go - black bean tacos with radish salsa and feta, as seen on a couple cooks:

pic cred: a couple cooks

pic cred: a couple cooks

to get you started, you'll need:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 15-ounce can black beans (or 1½ cups cooked)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 bunch radishes (12 to 15 radishes)
  • 4-6 green onions (depending on your green onion preference)
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño pepper (we use this optionally)
  • 2 limes (4 tablespoons juice) (and sometimes more depending on how lime-y you're feeling)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • ¾ cup feta cheese crumbles (sometimes we sub cotija - equally as yummy and fun for a different, more classic take on the recipe)

to make the magic happen:

start by grabbing a medium pot and heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. mince 1 clove garlic, add it to the pot once the olive oil is heated, and sauté for about 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and barely starting to brown (barely starting to brown is the key here). add the black beans along with the can liquid (a couple cooks recommend adding ¼ cup water if using beans without liquid), several sprigs of cilantro, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. bring the ingredients to a boil, then let them simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid condenses. stir occasionally as you get closer to the end of this time block to keep the beans from sticking to the pan as they thicken.

while the beans cook, thinly slice the radishes. you don't need the greens, just the pink part :) we personally love the cleaned ones that come in a package at trader joe's as they've already got the greens cut off the top. from there, thinly slice your green onions (4-6) and add to bowl with radishes. if using, seed and dice the jalapeño pepper (taking the necessary precautions to keep the juice away from the eyes - i learned this the hard way). a couple cooks recommend using ½ pepper for a mild salsa, and more for a spicier variation if you like a little extra heat. as i alluded to above, often times grant and i skip the pepper altogether and it's still just as tasty. for the last of the chopping, chop 6 tablespoons cilantro, but reserve half for serving. mix 3 tablespoons cilantro with radishes, green onions, jalapeño pepper. then add 4 tablespoons (or more) fresh squeezed lime juice, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. you can always adjust to taste :)

and now the best part, to serve: 

a note: the radishes can lose some of their crunch the longer they sit, so try and serve them within 10 minutes of prepping them. oh, and do serve them with a slotted spoon - that's a helpful tip.

place the beans in the middle of a tortilla, top with radish salsa, feta (or cotija) cheese crumbles, and chopped cilantro. VOILA!! the tacos are ready to enjoy.

try them, love them, let me know how you like them. they may even become a staple of your kitchen as they have ours. because who doesn't love taco tuesday (or wednesday or thursday or...) ?!

you get the picture :) leave any fab recipes i should be trying in the comments below. talk soon and ENJOY.