Happy Meat-Free Monday and Happy Summer Solstice, aka the first day of summer!
For some reason, Latin cuisine always reminds me of summer. This dish is more like a “lazy” empanada as I don’t make the dough from scratch. For this recipe, I prefer to use store-bought tortillas. Instead of the half-moon/semi-circular look of most empanadas, I fold the sides in and then the ends in, kind of like a wrap. Then I fry in a small amount of oil folded side down…that way, the frying seals the ends together.
Chimichurri is an Argentinian and Uruguayan sauce often served on steaks. But it tastes great on veggies and with empanadas. The first time I tasted it, was at an Argentinian restaurant in Northampton, MA. It was simply sublime. There are numerous variations. This particular chimichurri recipe comes from the new Latin cookbook Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero, co-author of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Veganomicon. A unique sauce that Romero likens to a “spicy pesto” that you don’t find at too many restaurants. But no worries as it’s so easy to make your own at home!
Tomato & Black Bean Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots large, chopped
1 large bunch of parsley, stems removed
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place the garlic, shallots and parsley into blender or food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Then drizzle in olive oil, red wine vinegar, paprika, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and salt blending/pulsing until creamy. Feel free to add more salt or red wine vinegar as needed. Store in a tightly covered container in the fridge until ready to use.
6 tortillas, medium-sized
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained
2 small potatoes, cubed
3-4 tablespoons olive oil (1 for potatoes, 2-3 for frying empanadas)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
In small saucepan, cook potatoes in olive oil on medium heat for a few minutes. Add beans and tomatoes, reduce heat. Add oregano, salt and cumin. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and add lime juice.
In large skillet, pour olive oil and set to low heat. Either resting on counter or in hand, place tortilla. Add 2 spoonfuls of tomato/bean/potato mixture. Then fold sides in and then ends in. Place empanada folded side down into skillet. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
Serve with chimichurri sauce.