In my previous post, I talked about edible weeds that may be easily foraged from the backyard garden; the generic name in Mexico for these kind of potherbs is quelite. Two examples are: pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), called quintoniles in Mexico, and lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album), also known as white goosefoot and, generically with other species of the same genus, wild spinach. In Spanish, many names are ascribed to lamb’s quarters, such as cenizo, quinhuilla, bledo, and, in Mexico, also generically, is simply called “quelite de cocina” – “kitchen potherb.” These plants have the advantage of not having any poisonous look-alikes, and are high in vitamins, such as A and C, also containing riboflavin, niacin, potassium, calcium, and manganese. In my garden, I found a good amount of quelite de cocina – lamb’s quarters:
In the Mexican state of Tlaxcala, pigweed – quintoniles, are featured in several traditional dishes, such as soups, stews as tacos; in my kitchen, I have substituted with foraged lamb’s quarters – quelites de cocina, to prepare this taco filling, so simple and light, that may be served as a jentacular plate in the morning, a healthy lunch, or an antojito (Mexican snack.) If foraged potherbs like quintoniles or quelites de cocina are not available, possible substitutions are spinach, or Swiss chard.
Potherb and Fresh Cheese Tacos –
Tacos de quelite con requesón
Ingredients (for four tacos)
1 bunch potherbs, such as pigweed, lamb’s quarters, spinach, or Swiss chard
¼ white onion; peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic; peeled and minced
½ cup fresh cheese, such as requesón or ricotta
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
4 corn tortillas; warm
Wash herbs, then remove damaged leaves and tough stems, and chop coarsely. In a large frying pan, warm up oil over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté until they start to caramelize. Add garlic and continue cooking for a few seconds, stirring (photo below, left). Stir potherbs in, mixing with the onions and garlic (photo below, right):
Season with salt, to taste, and cook for a couple more minutes, until the herbs have wilted. Remove from heat. Divide cheese and potherb filling amongst the warm corn tortillas, and serve immediately:
Some people might ask to add spicy salsa or a squirt of lime juice; I can have empathy for those who must always have hot sauce and lime in their tacos, but for me, the flavours in this taco were so clean and balanced, that I did not need any extra toppings.
I am sharing my post at Thursday Favourite Things #549, with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.