My husband’s preferred weekly menu would go something like this: tacos, pizza, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, tacos, pad Thai, pizza. That is not what we actually eat, much to his dismay.
After roasting up the pumpkin from our CSA, I had a fairly substantial amount of it to use. About half of it went in the food processor and I got a cup or two of puree from that. The rest I diced and tried to think of ways to use it.
When I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago, I had dinner with some friends and we made squash and black bean enchiladas which were quite tasty, so I decided to stick with that concept and make pumpkin tacos. Obvious? Maybe not. Smothered in cheese? Definitely. They were conceptually good, but if I made them again, I would change some things which I have noted below.
First step: tortillas.
Because somehow it was easier than going to the store, I made my own flour tortillas, which are delicious.
For the filling, I chopped up an onion and sauteed that with some garlic. Then I added a cup or so of diced pumpkin and a tablespoon or two of chili powder (I added one tablespoon then added a bit more later after it looked like it needed it). The pumpkin really absorbs the chili powder, so use just a little more than you think you should. I could have easily used more. The pumpkin itself is a little bland and needs lots of seasoning. In retrospect, some diced bell peppers and oregano would have been nice, too.
For other toppings we had minced jalapeno (from the garden), fresh lettuce and cilantro (from the CSA), and some grated cheese.
They could have used a little more oomph. We decided that well-seasoned black beans would have been nice, or even some veggie crumbles or rice. Corn and avocado/guacamole would also be good, but it really needed some protein. My favorite part of tacos is the contrasting textures and I wasn’t feeling it here. Concept good, execution needs work.
Pumpkin Taco Filling
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups pumpkin, roasted and diced
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons chili powder (mine is a medium-spicy blend, so adjust if needed)
salt to taste
1.) Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute a minute or two, then add bell pepper. Saute another minute and add garlic and pumpkin. Cook for 5-7 minutes until pumpkin is a little browned. Add oregano and chili powder, stirring well to combine. Add a few tablespoons of water to de-glaze the pan and coat the veggies. Add salt to taste and stir well.
2.) Serve in warm tortillas with seasoned black beans, rice, corn, lettuce, avocado or guacamole, sour cream and cheese — or your preferred taco toppings.
If you have some pumpkin and decide to try this one, tell me what changes you made and how it turned out! We were both willing to try again, but neither of us was bowled over with my first attempt. So it goes.