Autumn is a magical time of year for vegetables. Early autumn in Ireland brings a harvest of tomatoes, red peppers, greens and other fruit and vegetables that are usually associated with summer months. Due to our climate, much of our fresh produce is grown undercover or in glasshouses but it will take until September to see them ripen. These are often ready for harvesting at the same time as the first growth of vegetables we associate with winter make their first appearance. In this recipe, I’m using baby spinach and butternut squash as a lovely mix for this special time between summer and winter, so why not grab some corn tortillas, add some sauces and smoked tofu for a great autumn meal. The corn tortillas I use are by a brilliant Irish company called Blanco Niño, owners of Europe’s first corn tortilla factory.
Butternut Squash, Baby Spinach and smoked Tofu Taco’s, 4-6 Portions
Vegan, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Contains Nuts.
Ingredients for the taco fillings:
- 8-12 small corn tortillas
- 250g roasted butternut squash
- 200g grated smoked tofu
- 50g whole leaf baby spinach
- 50g shredded baby spinach, leaves lightly brushed with about 15ml rapeseed oil
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Ingredients for the cashew crema:
- 100g cashew nuts
- 100ml water
- 30ml lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Ingredients for the roasted habanero sauce
- 2 red habanero chillies
- 2 mild red chillies
- 15ml rapeseed or olive oil for roasting the chillies
- 50ml rapeseed of olive oil for the sauce
- 50ml water
Method for the cashew crema:
1. Soak the cashews in water for at least 6 hours.
2. Drain the cashews and discard the water.
3. Place the soaked cashews, 100ml of water, lime juice and sea salt into a food processor. Puree this until the crema is smooth and creamy.
4. Can be stored in a refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Method for the roasted habanero sauce:
1. Heat your oven to 200*C and brush the 15ml of oil onto the chillies.
2. Place onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the chillies are a little charred and blistered.
3. Remove the chillies from the oven and set aside to cool a little.
4. Remove the stems from the roasted chillies and place into a food processor along with the 50ml water for the sauce and 50 ml of oil and puree until the sauce is smooth.
5. Can be stored in a refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 14 days.
Method for the tacos:
1. Heat oven to 200*C. Peel the squash and chop 250g of it into bite sized pieces. Brush the pieces of squash with 15ml of oil and place them onto a baking tray and into the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and set it aside until needed.
2. Grate the smoked tofu and also set it aside until needed. Brush 50g of baby spinach with some oil and shred the other 50g of baby spinach and set both aside until needed also.
3. Prepare the taco fillings in advance and arrange in individual bowls for speedy assembly. Once that’s done, heat the corn tortillas gently, either in your oven or on a skillet on your hob and lay each one out for filling. Keep the tortillas warm under tea towels until needed to avoid them drying out and becoming brittle.
4. Start assembling the tacos by laying the oiled spinach leaves onto the tortilla, then adding some smoked tofu, shredded spinach, roasted squash and sea salt. Pour some cashew crema and chilli sauce over the tortilla filling. Roll the tacos and serve immediately!