Since tomorrow is the first official day of spring, I wanted to make a dish that embodied—in my mind—this time of year. Words like fresh, bold, bright, and colorful come to mind. The springtime’s of my youth are slightly out of focus, hazy memories punctuated with color, the vibrant green of our front yard, the smell of cool ocean air. I remember I spent my breaks from school climbing the twisted tree in our yard and stumbling over the thick ivy hedge that served as a bridge to imagined worlds.
While I was a somewhat serious child I also loved to play make-believe and imagined any number of scenarios to the continual soundtrack of classical composers. I was a little too strange and too sensitive to maintain many friendships. Also, no one talks to the kid with Beethoven blasting from her Sony Walkman. But this never bothered me too much because I’ve always enjoyed solitude. Being the oldest child in a home where my parents also ran a daycare, I desperately sought opportunities to be alone.
I’d spend spring break in my front yard acting out the lives of brave, made-up heroines rebelling against the confines of their particular existences. The tomboy princess, the daughter of a nobleman about to be married off, a rogue spy. Thinking about this now cracks me up! I was so weird! I don’t know where it came from, I suppose I read a lot and had a wild imagination and too much time on my hands.
Anyways, back to the present moment and today’s recipe! I made colorful vegetarian tacos with kale and Jamaican Jerk seasoned chickpeas and cauliflower. I used Greenpoint Trading Co.’s Jerk Seasoning. This bold spice rub went a long way to bring some life and exciting flavor to my vegetarian taco filling.
I also decided to make a torn citrus and mint salsa. I use the word torn because I totally demolished the citrus trying to slice it pretty. Tips anyone? It looks like it went through a blender and I did just end up tearing it, along with the mint leaves, so I could say “torn” and make it sound rustic and charming. Did it work?
The final component of these tacos was sour cream infused with Chili Oil from Brooklyn Wok Shop. I need to take a moment here because I’m really excited about it. I love spice and heat and I’m always looking for new sauces or condiments to use in or on my food.
You guys. This stuff caused a lengthy pause in the middle of arranging things for this shoot. I was placing a spoonful on my sour cream and took a taste test. Then another, and another, until my mouth was slightly on fire and I was about to eat the entire jar. It’s spicy, and slightly sweet, with hints of garlic and it’s so aromatic. I can’t do it justice here with the mere words of a mortal. It’s quite simply amazing and brace yourself because I’m going to be putting it on everything!
Brooklyn Wok Shop this is my open invitation for you to become my new best friend.
Ok, anyways I’m such a rambler and I didn’t even bring all these topics together in a cohesive blog but I need to go eat more of these tacos, so please forgive me.
- 1 14oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ head cauliflower florets
- 1 Tbsp. Greenpoint Trading Co Jerk Seasoning
- 3 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 Grapefruit
- 1 Lime
- 1 Orange or Tangelo
- 1.2 jalapeño, minced
- 2 Tbsp. minced red onion
- 1 tbsp. torn mint
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. Brooklyn Wok Shop Chili Oil
- 4 cups baby kale
- 8 corn tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss chickpeas and cauliflower in jerk seasoning, olive oil, and a little salt.
- Roast for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- Meanwhile make the citrus salsa.
- You’ll have to figure out how to properly cut the citrus into little segments because I completely failed. I tried peeling first then dicing but things just got weird.
- Combine citrus chucks, jalapeño, onion, and mint in a bowl with a pinch of salt, stir and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Next, mix the sour cream and chili oil, stir to combine, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Assemble the Tacos
- Either warm tortillas in the oven or microwave or char them on your stove burner, flipping with tongs every 10 seconds or so.
- Top tortillas with a handful of kale, the roasted cauliflower and chickpea mixture, citrus salsa, and chili oil sour cream.
- Enjoy these spicy, bold, and colorful springtime tacos!