Herbed Black bean and goat cheese tacos

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After returning home from a long trip and finally being able to stock our fridge with fresh veggies, I clapped my hands in glee, like the unashamed food dork that I am. Nothing like a fridge overflowing in multicolored produce to delight this girl.

Now, what to make for dinner with such a plethora of ingredients? I have a weakness for tacos and pizza, because they both lend themselves to experiments with funky combinations to create some magical flavors.

With these tacos I decided to with a rich, fresh herb starting point to make sure I used my pretty herbs at their peak. I needed a protein so I used black beans, which I usually tend to cook with mexican-ey spices so this was a chance to try and transform them. For color and added luxe, I used radicchio and broccolini as my side.

To try these rich and savory tacos see my process below:

Herbed Black Bean and Goat Cheese Tacos 

Dice up about half a red onion, a large shallot and a couple of garlic cloves  and saute them up with a pour of olive oil. Stir once in a while and let them get dark and sweet. After a few minutes , once the nice juicy fond has developed on the bottom of the pan, pour in about a tablespoon of water to deglaze and reintegrate them.

Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Add the beans to the now mouthwateringly aromatic and sweet onion, garlic and shallot mixture. Stir to mix, add salt, black pepper and a dash of red chili pepper flakes if you desire some spice. Add a bit more oil if it needs it, so the beans don’t get too dry.

Rinse, then rip up the radicchio into smaller pieces. Mix with just a tiny pour of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread on a pan and put into an oven to roast. Check on it after 3 minutes, stir up and leave in for about 2 minutes more. Be careful and take it from my experience, this stuff burns quickly. You want to get it to get a bit charred on the edges but not, you know, to resemble charcoal.

I originally made some broccolini to act as a side, but discovered it actually worked heavenly inside the taco. Add a light layer of olive oil to a cast iron  or regular pan and add the broccolini , salt, pepper and cover. I didn’t stir it for a couple minutes so it could get a nice sear. Then I flipped them to get some more sear. After a few minutes I added a tablespoon of water and covered again to let it steam and soften just a bit.

After those beans have cooked for about 5-7 minutes, add your handful of fresh, roughly chopped herbs. I had parsley, basil, thyme and sage but use whatever you happen to have on hand. Stir and keep on low while you prep your tacos. Keep a bit aside.

Smear some soft goat cheese on a few corn tortillas and sprinkle some herbs de provence on top. Put in the oven till the tortilla softens and the cheese just begins to melt, about 3-4 minutes.

By now , the aroma in your kitchen is overwhelming which means it is finally time to prepare your tacos! Pour a heaping spoonful of the herbed black bean mixture into a soft, warm tortilla which should be oozing with goat cheese. Top with some of your lightly charred radicchio, a dusting of fresh herbs and add a broccolini if you wish.

Voila! Sweet and savory, herbed and cheesy tacos.

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