In a different life, I used to live in LA. I mean, it was this life, but it was a long time ago. After more than a decade, those LA years have receded into a happy, ephemeral recollection of palm trees, of 72-and-sunny, of riding my bike to the beach and farmers market. (I think I was supposed to be have been studying.) They were lovely years.
Now I live in evergreens, in 50s-and-drizzling, in walking at a snail’s pace with three beautiful children who cannot be hurried as they collect sticks and rocks. These are lovely years as well.
Not much endures in my life from that time in LA, except for the most important thing: a few good friendships. I had the good fortune of spending last weekend with some of those old friends. It was so nice to see them, to catch up, to laugh really hard and spend the day together. And, just as nice, to cook together.
We made tacos, of course. You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl…is that how it goes? What a silly saying. These tacos make no claim to authenticity of any kind, anyway. They come from the opposite of California, the New York Times (specifically the Recipes for Health series). They’re good. Serve them alone or as part of a taco spread (with fish tacos, maybe, or tempeh or black bean tacos, or even breakfast tacos). A side of seasoned black beans wouldn’t be amiss, either.Butternut Squash Tacos with Chipotle and Feta: Chop about 2 lbs. butternut squash into 1/2″ dice and saute in your widest pan over medium-high heat until tender and browned in spots (don’t stir too often at first to promote browning; once the first layer of squash is golden brown, begin to stir more often). You can add a splash of water and scrape the pan well if the squash starts to stick. When the squash is cooked, season with salt and stir in minced or pureed chipotle peppers in adobo to taste. Remove from heat, stir for one minute to cool a bit, then stir in 1/2 c. plain yogurt. Serve in warm corn tortillas topped with feta cheese (and I couldn’t resist adding some of my new favorite cilantro-yogurt sauce as well).
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What a nice compliment, Jessi! Thank you so much!
These sound so good! I’ve been saving my last butternut squash for something special–this is it. Thanks Emmy!
If you’ve been saving it for a while, I can assure you that this preparation will revive it. :) Enjoy!
You definitely can’t take the California out of the girl–as we discovered when we lived in NYC and couldn’t stop making batch upon batch of our own tacos. :) I love the squash and chipotle combination!
Seriously, it’s hard to live so far from good tacos. And Seattle is a sad town for fans of nouveau-California-fresh-Mex, as I like to think of my favorite cuisine. Good thing I have a kitchen. :)
Wow, what an awesome combination of flavors. Feta, butternut squash, peppers in adobo, cilantro-lime yogurt?! Really, these are inspiring. And I’m a born and raised Northwest girl that travels to Santa Barbara every summer… every time I go I tell myself I’m “suppose” to be a California girl. But who knows? Maybe if I moved there, I wouldn’t be able to get the northwest out of me. :)
I think I just like anything with chipotles! And the sweet/creamy/salty flavors contributed by the other ingredients don’t hurt either. :) Personally, I find that splitting one’s time between the NW and SB is a good balance–we usually go in the winter and always make a point of eating almost enough tacos to hold us over for the entire year. :)
Tacos are the best, and yes, perfect for nights with the girlfriends! They sound spectacular with that combo Emmy. Curious whether you tried the steaming lentils yet? How’d it go? :)
Not yet! I have a serious backlog of recipes I plan to make. Which is a very nice problem to have! :)
Those are lovely! I once lived in LA (Santa Monica) – and it was also a lifetime ago! Many good memories. Farmer’s Markets, wonderful homemade tamales bought from the back of pick-up trucks, rosemary grown as hedges…
Nice. I lived in West LA, halfway between the Santa Monica beach and the UCLA campus–which was about how I divided my attention. :)
Yummy! I have to make that cilantro-yogurt sauce soon! I went a little crazy and bought several giant bunches of kale. Like over 30 packed cups once I washed it all.
What was I thinking?! Maybe I should drizzle cilantro-yogurt sauce on it . . . :-)
I am so impressed that you wash 30 cups of kale at a time! I know I should just wash greens as soon as I get them home but I never do. You could stuff about half of it into a big green tart with feta, and serve that with a kale salad? But then you’d be eating that for a week. :) Good luck. :)
Last night I tried my hand at butternut squash puree served with scallops and shrimp. I usually cube mine and have it as a sweeter dish, however its super god savory!
That sounds great! This preparation is in the sweet/spicy/salty vein, but I agree that savory is great too. You can’t really go wrong with wither squash!
Oh my these look incredible and perfect for a healthy family dinner!
Agreed! I really like the Recipes for Health from the NY Times, and I have been making this one regularly for a few years. Besides the great flavors, I like that it only uses one pan. :)
I love tacos! And I love butternut squash. These look fantastic and the cilantro yogurt sauce is a lovely compliment to the squash. Yum!
Mmm, they were good. Karista, are you going to the BlogHer Food conference in June? I signed up because it’s in Seattle and I’m wondering if I’m going to meet some blogging friends there!
Oh yes! Wouldn’t miss it. I’ll be there and can’t wait to meet all my blogging friends. Let’s definitely meet during the conference. Have a great Thursday!