Mushroom-Walnut Tacos With Cilantro Cream

Makes 12 tacos.

Note: The secret to success with the taco filling is cooking the mushrooms until they are almost dry, so be patient. You can make the taco filling up to 3 days ahead of time and reheat it; it’s good with burritos or nachos, too. The recipe calls for using one tortilla per taco, but some people (and restaurants) like to double up, in case one breaks. Vegans can use avocado instead of crema, and thin it with lime juice instead of milk. From Robin Asbell.

• 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed to make 3 c.

• 1 large onion, peeled and quartered

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 (8-oz.) pkg. button mushrooms, rinsed and drained

• 1 c. walnuts

• 4 garlic cloves, chopped

• 2 tsp. chili powder

• 2 tsp. smoked paprika

• 1/2 tsp. cayenne

• 1 tsp. dried oregano

• 1 tsp. salt, plus a pinch

• Canola or olive oil for frying, optional

• 1 c. fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed

• 1 c. sour cream or mashed avocado

• 3 tbsp. milk, approximately, or lime juice for avocado

• 12 corn tortillas

• 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped

• Fresh cilantro, for garnish


Steam or boil the cubed potatoes until tender, and let cool.

In a food processor, chop the onion.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and scrape the onions into the pan. Stir.

In the food processor bowl, place half of the mushrooms and pulse until minced, then scrape into the onions in the pan. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms. Scrape the container and add the walnuts to the processor, and pulse on and off to mince to the size of ground beef. Reserve. (You can do all this mincing by hand, too.)

Stir the mushrooms until they are shrunken, browned and the pan is nearly dry, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano and salt. Stir in the walnuts and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Take off the heat and keep warm.

In a medium skillet, heat some canola or olive oil if using and fry the potato cubes over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.

Wash the food processor and add the cilantro leaves, process to mince finely. Add the sour cream and process, then drizzle in milk to thin to a pourable consistency. Transfer to a small pitcher or bowl. If using avocado, purée with lime to make a pourable sauce.

To warm the tortillas, toast each one in a dry skillet set over medium heat for about 30 seconds per side. Alternatively, wrap the stack in foil and warm in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Fill each taco with about 1/4 cup mushroom filling and 1/4 cup potatoes, sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and cilantro, then drizzle with a tablespoon or so of cilantro cream. Serve immediately.