Friday, May 22, 2009

Calabacitas con Nopalitos

A super simple way to use several of your CSA veggies this week, and versatile enough to accommodate any number of variations to suit your taste and/or mood!

Calabacitas is Spanish for "little squash" or really, little pieces of squash, and the same applies to the nopalitos (little pieces of nopales). While the nopales can get a little slimy while cooking (not unlike okra), the sliminess tends to wane the longer you cook them, and also, if you keep the mixture relatively dry (as in roasting or sauteing rather than in a stew).
  • 2 medium-sized summer squash--any variety works, and a mix is great, too
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 roasted green chiles or 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large nopal paddle, chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & Pepper

Garnish:

  • 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1.2 cup shredded cheese or crumbled queso seco/ricotta salata (optional)

Optional ingredients:

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Chopped greens (spinach, quelites, etc.)
  • Red chile
  • Splash of Cream
  • Splash of Tequila

For the Calabacitas, start with bite-sized pieces of summer squash--. If your squash are rather big and full of big seeds, you can opt to remove them first. For zucchini and yellow squash, usually half-moons or quartered slices works well, but you can cube the squash instead, though it may need slightly more cooking time. Heat a few tablespoons of butter or oil in a large skillet until very hot. First add onions, stirring to cook one minute or so. Add garlic, chile pepper, squash, nopalitos & corn. Saute on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or so, until vegetables start to brown slightly. Add remaining ingredients, including optional ingredients if using, and cook several minutes more, until everything is cooked to your taste. Squeeze lime or lemon juice over veggies and garnish with cilantro & cheese (if using) to serve.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Yum, I can't wait to try it!!