Collard Green Tacos

I’ve been digging collard greens lately. But you get into a rut sometimes. So, I decided on a new twist on the greens.

I mixed tahini with toasted sesame oil and ume plum vinegar to make a thick Asian flavored spread. I spread the sesame mix inside a taco shell, stuffed it with lightly steamed collards, and topped it with crunchy radish half-moons for more texture.

The Senses Engaged

There’s something primal about savory flavors eaten between crunchy layers of carbohydrate. Tacos, sandwiches on toasted bread…other stuff. Po’boys on crusty French bread were standard eats back in Louisiana for a good reason. The flaky, crispy outside, the warm, juicy interior — the ultimate marriage of flavor and texture. And when you can eat with your hands, you connect with your meal in a way that utensils don’t allow, so it engages your distal sensory nerves as well as giving your mouth some textures to enjoy.

With this taco, you get that hot, crunchy corn flavor right away, melt into the tahini creaminess, travel to Asia with the ume plum vinegar and the toasted sesame, and then feel that warm juiciness created by the collards. The radishes provide a cool, crisp contrast. Note to self – try this with picked ginger or even pickled radishes, perhaps kimchi radishes. Woo!

Nutrition

Sesame is a mineral powerhouse. A tablespoon has more than 10% of your daily calcium needs. It has lots of iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It’s got copper and manganese in large proportions. By weight, it’s half fat, so it’s calorie dense, but that’s why it’s more of a condiment and flavoring rather than a main feature. Sesame also has a good measure of protein.

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