We have an eclectic little Mexican restaurant here in Los Gatos, California that serves not your usual Mexican food – meaning, no cheese enchiladas here, nor are there any fajitas or burritos on the menu. This is a different kind of Mexican food with cuisine that is rather distinctive. Called Zona Rosa, this is a charming little restaurant in our little town of Los Gatos. We love going to Zona Rosa. We have been going to Zona Rosa so many times with so many friends and family that one of the waiters even knows us.
What we like most on their menu is what they call tapas style soft tacos – small soft tacos with various toppings and sauces served in groups of two per plate. For a long time there was only one vegetarian soft taco on the menu – it was a blue corn soft taco with wilted cabbage and Brussels sprouts, topped with shredded lettuce, queso fresca cheese and a delicious sauce. Tacos Verduras it was called – translation – Vegetable Tacos. We ordered it every single time we went to Zona Rosa.
Fast-forward to a few months ago when Hitesh and I go to Zona Rosa only for the upteenth time and as usual get ready to order our Tacos Verduras. Guess what folks? It’s not on the menu! Needless to say we were very disappointed. I can’t even remember what we ordered that night. Then it finally occurred to me one day that I should try and make these favorite soft tacos myself. Honestly, I don’t know what sauce they put on those delectable soft tacos, and I probably won’t even be able to replicate it, even if I did. So I decided to make my own version of tacos verduras, and they turned out awesome! Zona Rosa’s tacos verduras with wilted cabbage and Brussels sprouts is the inspiration for my recipe.
Soft Tacos with Wilted Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts and Shishito Pepper Hash
- 4 cups shredded Brussel sprouts
- 6 cups finely chopped cabbage
- 10-15 shishito peppers cut into small pieces -about 2 cups. If you cannot fine shishito peppers in your area, you can substitute with 1 green bell pepper or padron peppers.
- 6 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 4 tbsp oil
- Salt and pepper
- Small soft tacos – about 10-12
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro finely chopped – about 3 tbsp
- Mexican queso fresco cheese or Oxaca cheese
- Candied walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of 1 lime or lemon
- Store bought salsa and guacamole (or make your own at home)
- Make the cabbage, brussels sprouts and shishito pepper hash.
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and shishito peppers and sauté in oil for 2 minutes for the garlic aroma to come through.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3-5 minutes until they are slightly wilted.
- Next add the cabbage and continue to cook all the vegetables for an additional 5 minutes on high heat to give the vegetables a chance to get charred.
- Next add oregano and salt and stir into the vegetables. Turn the stove off.
- Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts & Shishito Pepper Hash is ready.
- Make the Greek yogurt sauce. Mix together yogurt, chives, salt and pepper, and juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon. Set aside.
- Make the onion and cilantro salsa. Mix together onions and cilantro to form a salsa with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Assemble the soft tacos: Spread yogurt sauce on the taco.
- Next add cabbage, Brussels sprouts, shishito pepper hash. Top with onion cilantro salsa and crumbled queso fresca cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle some paprika powder and toasted sweet pecans. Squeeze some lime juice over the tacos.
- You can add Mexican hot sauce to give it some extra heat if you like and top the tacos with guacamole and salsa
These are messy tacos. Just dig in with your hands and enjoy!!
Enjoy your meal! in Spanish