This week has been a doozy. Big decisions have been clamoring for my verdict and, as usual, I’ve been struggling to make up my mind. I like possibilities, you see. I like the feeling of unlimited potential. Narrowing down my options makes me nervous. So nervous that I find myself clicking through page after page of J. Crew’s final sale and reaching for extra-large glasses of wine in attempts to escape it all. I see what you’re trying to do there, unconscious self.
Another strange form of escapism? Making a mess of leftovers in the kitchen. I like to absentmindedly throw a bunch of different leftovers in a bowl and hope that I’ll happen across a magical combination. These tacos are one of the rare combinations worth sharing.
At the time of discovery, I had just gotten back from the grocery store but most of my ingredients were destined for future recipes. I grabbed some arugula, warmed some black beans, and threw in some feta and quick-pickled radishes. I tossed all of that in jalapeño-lime dressing and took a bite. Eureka! I was onto something.
Then I warmed up a corn tortilla and stuffed it full of salad. Who knew that arugula would make such a perfect taco? It’s spicy, crisp, peppery—I should have known.
I honestly hadn’t intended to turn my quick-pickled radishes into a two-part series, but those crisp, vinegary, spicy sliced radishes are the perfect complement to warm black beans and arugula. The resulting tacos are fresh and light, yet filling. This is a 30-minute meal (pickled radishes excluded) that I’ll be revisiting often. I’m hoping it becomes a staple in your house, too.
A couple of notes before you get started: If you’re planning to have leftovers, only dress the amount of arugula you intend to consume in one sitting. The vinegar in the dressing breaks down the leaves and you don’t want wilty arugula in these tacos. Also, if you don’t have time for pickled radishes (they are super quick to make!), just use thinly sliced fresh radishes and add some hot sauce.
And hey, if you make this recipe at home, will you make me a happy blogger and snap a photo? Tag it #cookieandkate so I can see it on Instagram! I LOVE to see what you’ve been cooking. You can check out what other readers have made making over here!
Vegetarian Arugula and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Radish and Feta
- Author: Cookie and Kate
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Mexican
Fresh, light yet filling tacos made with cumin-spiced black beans, topped with lime and jalapeño dressed arugula, quick-pickled radishes, avocado and feta. Recipe as written below yields 8 tacos.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 large lime)
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño (about 1 medium jalapeño), membranes and seeds removed
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey (or agave nectar)
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Spicy black beans
- 2 cans black black beans, rinsed and drained (or 4 cups cooked black beans)
- 1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ⅓ cup water
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 corn tortillas
- 4 to 6 cups baby arugula
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into thin strips
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta
- Quick-pickled radishes or chopped fresh radishes
- Optional garnishes: freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce like Cholula
- To make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine all of the listed dressing ingredients. Whisk until emulsified.
- To prepare the black beans: Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Pour in the beans and ⅓ cup water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use the back of a fork to mash up about at least half of the beans. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and cover until you’re ready to serve.
- To warm the tortillas: Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat and warm each tortilla individually, flipping occasionally. Alternatively, you can warm them directly over a low flame on a gas range.
- Put it all together: Just before serving, toss the arugula with enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves (you will probably have leftover dressing). Spread black beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top with sliced avocado, pickled radishes, a small handful of dressed arugula and a sprinkle of crumbled feta. Finish with a couple dashes of freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce.
Black beans adapted from my sweet potato and black bean tacos. Dressing adapted from my kale and black bean burrito bowl.
Make it vegan: Skip the feta and add extra pickled radishes to make up for feta’s salty punch.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use gluten-free tortillas.
Storage suggestions: Store individual components separately. Gently warm beans in the microwave or on the stovetop (add a splash of water if they seem dry). Toss arugula with dressing just before serving.
If you love this recipe: You’ll also love my kale and black bean burritos and summer squash tacos.