We’re already getting in delicious and healthy local winter squashes from our farmers which open up a cornucopia of recipes for these vine veggies. For dinner tonight, try blending the flavors of Virginia with rich-tasting chipotles and Mexican sauces. Your kids won’t know the difference and they’ll have no clue that they’re filling up on vitamin A, C, potassium, manganese and folate.
3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds winter squash, such as butternut, acorn or banana squash, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch dice
Salt to taste
2 to 4 chipotle chiles in adobo (to taste), removed from the adobo and minced
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 pound Mexican queso ranchero or feta
8 corn tortillas
1. Cook the squash. Heat half of the olive oil in a large, heavy cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the squash in a single layer. Turn the heat down to medium. Cook five minutes or until the squash is nicely browned on one side; shake the pan to turn the squash or use tongs. Cook for another five to 10 minutes, shaking the pan often or stirring with a wooden spoon, until the squash is nicely browned and tender when pierced by a knife or skewer. Season to taste with salt, and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and squash.
2. When the second batch of squash is tender, return the first batch of squash to the pan and stir everything together. Add the chipotles, and toss in the pan for one more minute. Remove from the heat, stir for a minute and then stir in the yogurt. Keep warm while you heat the tortillas, but don’t allow the yogurt to boil or it will curdle.
3. Heat the tortillas. Fill the bottom of a steamer with 1/2 inch of water, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in a heavy kitchen towel, and place in the steamer basket above the boiling water. Cover tightly and steam one minute, then turn off the heat but do not uncover. Let stand for 15 minutes.
4. Pass the hot tortillas, and top with the squash. Sprinkle on the queso fresco, fold the tortillas over and enjoy.
Yield: Eight tacos, serving four.
Advance preparation: The cooked squash will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, without the addition of the yogurt. Reheat on top of the stove or in a microwave, then stir in the yogurt and proceed with the recipe.
Nutrition information per taco (does not include optional ingredients): 178 calories; 9 grams total fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 14 milligrams cholesterol; 22 gramscarbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 246 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 5 grams protein
Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at martha-rose-shulman.com.