The flavors that make Mexican food so delicious often come from the meat, but I’ve been experimenting with ways to make typically meat-dominant meals just as flavorful in a vegetarian version. These vegetarian tacos are full of flavor and are filled with good-for-you veggies and plenty of protein from the cheese. If meat eaters in the house want their fill of meat, this dish can be adapted by adding chicken or pork.
> 1 1/4 pounds carrots, chopped
> 1 yellow onion, chopped
> 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
> 1 can diced tomatoes, or 1/2 pound fresh tomatoes, chopped
> 2 tablespoons olive oil
> 9 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
> 12 corn tortillas
> optional condiments (sour cream, guacamole, etc.)
To make the carrot sofrito, preheat the oven to 225°. In a food processor, pulse the carrots, onion and garlic until very finely chopped. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until nearly smooth.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, and add the carrot mixture. Cook over moderate heat until slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato puree and a dash of salt, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Coat a 9-by-12 inch baking dish with cooking spray, and transfer the sofrito from the skillet to the dish. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until the carrot sofrito is very soft. Season with salt and stir occasionally.
To assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas and spoon the sofrito over the tortilla. Top with cheese, salsa and any other condiments.
Makes 4 servings.
Adapted from Food & Wine.