Greens & Chayote Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

These wonderful, vegetarian,┬áno-bake enchiladas claimed to be light and satisfying- a pretty accurate description! Perfect warm weather Mexican fare. Fresh and fabulous. ­čÖé This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Martha Rose Shulman.

Inspired by my food blog friends who have made their own birthday cakes, etc., I made this dish for my own birthday dinner!! I prepared the filling a day in advance (no work on the big day!) and we ate them after a relaxing day in the sunshine. My husband made my favorite Huevos Rancheros for breakfast (I am obviously a Mexican-food lover), and I was greeted with a surprise birthday cake from my girlfriend when I got home! ÔŁĄ What a great day! Maybe getting older isn’t so awful….

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I’m bringing my special dish to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #74┬á(belatedly, again…), co-hosted by Loretta @Safari of the Mind and Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking. As another surprise birthday gift, my dish from Fiesta Friday #73 was featured this week! Yay!! Check it out & Enjoy! ­čÖé

Yield: Serves 8

  • 1 pound Swiss or rainbow chard, or a combination
  • 2 medium-size chayote or summer squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut in small dice (4 cups diced)
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 jalape├▒o or 2 to 3 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • ┬Ż white onion, coarsely chopped
  • coarse salt to taste
  • 4 large peeled garlic cloves; 2 whole and 2 minced
  • 12 cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 ┬Ż cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • About 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta

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  1. Peel and dice the chayote squash.
  2. Strip chard leaves from stems and wash in 2 changes of water. Keep leaves whole.
  3. Rinse chard stems and cut in small dice if wide, or, if thin, slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. (I cut my wide stems into thin strips and then sliced all of them crosswise 1/4 inch thick.) Set aside stems with chayote in one bowl and leaves in another.
  4. Make the salsa verde: Combine tomatillos, jalape├▒os and onion in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until tomatillos have gone from pale green to olive and have softened. Using a slotted spoon or a Chinese strainer, transfer tomatillos, onion and one of the jalape├▒os to a blender. (I used a Vitamix!) Do not drain water from pot. Let vegetables cool in the blender while you blanch greens and chayote.
  5. Add more water to the pot so it is about 2/3 full. Return to a boil, salt generously, and add the chard leaves. Blanch until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer leaves to a bowl of cold (ice) water to quickly shock, then drain and dry. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  6. Return water to a simmer and add chayote and chard stems. Simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain through a colander and again on paper towels.
  7. Add whole garlic cloves and cilantro sprigs to ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste for heat and add remaining jalape├▒o if desired. (I only used one jalape├▒o- and the salsa had quite a kick!)
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add tomatillo pur├ęe and partly cover to protect from splattering. Cook, stirring often, until it thickens and begins to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in stock, add salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thick and coats the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  10. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic. When fragrant, after about 30 seconds, stir in oregano, blanched and chopped leaves, stems, and chayote. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until tender, fragrant and coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup salsa verde and set aside.
  11. Place tortillas in a tortilla warmer or on a microwave safe plate. Cover with a damp paper towel and cover with warmer lid, or with plastic wrap if using a plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute. (Alternatively: Prepare the tortillas: Heat 1/3 cup canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, until oil bubbles around the edges of a tortilla when you dip it into the pan. Place a platter covered with paper towels next to pan. Using tongs, slide tortillas, one at a time, into hot oil. As soon as tortilla begins to puff, about 10 to 15 seconds, flip over and leave another 10 to 15 seconds. Immediately remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Cover with foil to keep warm.)
  12. One by one, quickly dip tortillas into the remaining warm salsa verde, lay on serving platter, and top with about 1/4 cup filling. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down on platter. When all tortillas have been filled, pour remaining salsa verde on top, sprinkle with cilantro and queso fresco (or feta) and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce and Melted Cheese

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When my mom came to visit recently I wanted to make her a Mexican dish with tomatillo sauce– we both LOVE it!! This is a wonderful vegetarian dish from Rick Bayless’ book Fiesta at Rick’s: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends. It is loaded with vegetables- I used chayote squash, kohlrabi, carrots, mushrooms, and red onion in the enchiladas. Turnips and butternut squash are also suggested in the recipe as they have equivalent roasting times. Any vegetable could be used (zucchini, broccoli, asparagus…) but the roasting time would need to be shortened. The finished dish had a spicy kick even though I seeded the jalape├▒o – the creme fraiche in the sauce reduces that heat a little. (I love spicy food!) We ate the enchiladas with brown basmati rice on the side.

  • 1 pound (6 to 8) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Fresh hot green chiles to taste (1-2 jalape├▒os or 2-3 serranos) (I used 2 seeded jalape├▒os), stemmed
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil, plus extra for roasting the vegetables and spraying the tortillas
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 8 cups cubed vegetables (about 1/2-inch cubes) (I used chayote, carrots, red onion, mushrooms, & kohlrabi)
  • coarse salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • a few sliced rounds of white onion, separated into rings, for garnish, if desired
  • fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Make the Sauce:

  1. Roast the tomatillos, sliced onion, peeled garlic and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a hot broiler until the tomatillos are soft and blotchy black on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn everything over and roast the other side. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  2. Scrape the tomatillo mixture into a food processor. Process to a smooth puree.
  3. Heat the 1 1/2 T oil in a medium-large (4 to 5 quart) pot over medium-high. When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle, add the puree all at once. Stir nearly constantly for several minutes until darker and thicker.
  4. Add the broth and the creme fraiche, reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Roast the Vegetables:

  1. Spread the cubed vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle or spritz with oil, sprinkle with salt and stir to coat evenly.
  2. Roast, stirring regularly, until the carrots are crunchy-tender, about 25 minutes.

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Finish the Sauce, Heat the Tortillas:

  1. If the sauce has thickened beyond the consistency of a light cream soup, stir in a little more broth (or water). Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon.
  2. Lightly brush or spray both sides of each tortilla with oil. Cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute to soften.

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Finish the Enchiladas:

  1. Smear 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish.
  3. Douse evenly with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the cheese.
  4. Bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese has begun to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Garnish with onion rings and cilantro sprigs, if desired. These are best served piping hot from the oven.

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