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Grilled Vegetable Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

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Serves 8

Zucchini and the Mexican squash called chayote make up the vegetarian filling for these soft tacos. If you can't find chayote, substitute additional zucchini and yellow squash.

For the grilled vegetables:
  • 2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 medium chayote, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For assembling the tacos:
  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 recipe Cilantro Pesto 
  • 3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese or feta (optional)
  • Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Grill the vegetables:

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, yellow squash, and chayote. Add the oil, garlic, serrano, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper and toss gently to coat. Grill, covered, until the vegetables become tender and have grill marks on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The chayote will soften but won’t become limp like the zucchini and squash.

Let the vegetables cool slightly and then slice crosswise into thin strips. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Assemble the tacos:

Spoon some of the vegetable mixture on top of each tortilla and top with a drizzle of the pesto and some crumbled cheese and chopped cilantro (if using). The filling can be warm or at room temperature.

Serving Suggestions

Start the meal off with Chunky Guacamole or Roasted Tomato Salsa and Tortilla Chips and serve Mexican Tomato Rice & Beans on the side.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 290; Fat (g): fat g 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 200; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3.5; Protein (g): protein g 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 18; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 14; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 260; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 5; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

We've been using fine cooking for over a year now, and I have to say, this is one of my favorite recipes. We were so skeptical at first, like others thinking it wouldn't be flavorful, too bland, boring. Let me tell you that it is soooo good and the other great part- easy to make! We got our Chayote from Papa Joes here in Michigan which is similar to Whole Foods. We only got one and it was enough. The cilantro pesto is just great with the mixed veggies and throw in the flavor of the queso cheese... divine. It is now part of our go-to meals. Enjoy!

"Deceptively delicious" is the correct thing to say about this. I've had bad luck with new recipes lately and actually told my boyfriend to go grab himself something else to eat while I was cooking this up... but he stayed to have some. Six tacos later he said I can cook veggie meals everyday if it's this good. I had never had chayote before, but WOW it was so tasty. And the cilantro pesto was out of this world. Give this recipe a try -- it is quick, easy, and amazing!

This recipe is terrific. It is deceptively delicious. It is usually a pain to find chayote, so I just use the squashes. It is great for when there seems to be an endless supply of summer squash. You wouldn't think it would be as delicious as it is.

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