By Christine Vartanian Datian
Avocado, Eggplant, Shrimp and Feta Tacos
With Garlic Lemon Tahini
3 or 4 medium avocados, sliced
1 medium eggplant, sliced,
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Diced feta cheese
Juice of one lemon or lime
8-10 corn, flour or whole wheat tortillas
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried ancho peppers or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt, black or white pepper, cayenne pepper or chili powder to taste
Olive oil, diced tomatoes, sliced white, green or red onions, chopped cilantro, chopped green or red cabbage, chopped jalapeno peppers, chopped radishes, and sliced black or green olives as garnish
Lemon or lime wedges as garnish
Choice of hot sauce as garnish
Wash and slice the eggplant and lightly sprinkle slices with sea salt; place slices in a colander and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Pat with a paper towel to remove excess liquid. In a few tablespoons of olive oil, sauté the eggplant (in batches) until medium brown on both sides, for 3-5 minutes. Remove eggplant and drain on paper towels. (Eggplant may also be grilled for this recipe.)
In a skillet, sauté the shrimp in a few tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic until translucent. Do not overcook. Lightly sprinkle shrimp with cumin, oregano, ancho peppers or red pepper flakes to taste. Toss with the lemon or lime juice and a dash of cayenne or chili powder to taste. Remove shrimp to a serving plate and keep warm. (Shrimp may also be grilled, brush them with a little olive oil and some crushed garlic and minced parsley until done.)
Warm the tortillas in a microwave with paper towels for 20-35 seconds, grill, or warm the tortillas in a skillet on both sides in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until lightly browned, for 30-40 seconds.
Fill tortillas with choice of sliced avocado, eggplant, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cabbage, jalapeno peppers, radishes, and olives; garnish with feta cheese. Plate and serve tacos with lemon or lime wedges and hot sauce with the Garlic Lemon Tahini on the side.
Garlic Lemon Tahini
2-3 cups canned garbanzo beans, washed and drained (reserve about 1/4 cup of liquid)
3-4 tablespoons tahini
2-3 cloves minced garlic
Olive oil and the juice and zest of 2 lemons
Cayenne pepper, Aleppo pepper or paprika
In a blender or processor, slowly combine the garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and zest; add the reserve liquid a little at a time, and blend a minute longer; drizzle in the olive oil to the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more lemon juice or olive oil, if desired.
With a small spatula spread tahini on a plate or platter and garnish with olive oil and chopped cilantro; sprinkle with cayenne pepper, Aleppo pepper or paprika.
Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and at http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/
For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to: http://www.myrecipes.com/search/site/Datian