Fennel seeds add a unique, anise-like flavor to the black beans in this quick vegetarian supper. If you like, make a double batch of the salsa and serve it with chips to start off the meal.
Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Salsa
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 large plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and finely diced
Coarse ground kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, diced
Fresh corn kernels, cut from one ear of corn
8-12 corn tortillas, 6 inches in diameter
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds or anise seeds
2 cans black beans, drained, liquid reserved
Feta cheese, crumbled
In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the onion, the tomatoes, chile, cilantro and lime juice. Gently mix in the avocado. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large nonstick frying pan over high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until it starts to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the corn kernels, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
Toast the tortillas over a gas flame or on a griddle just until the give off the fragrance of toasted corn, about 20 seconds on each side; then, wrap the tortillas in foil to keep warm.
In the same frying pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the remaining onion and the fennel seeds, and sauté until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans by very large spoonfuls, mashing and stirring each addition before adding the next. Thin the bean mixture to a coarse, thick puree with the reserved liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the salsa, bell pepper mixture, bean mixture, feta, tortillas and lime wedges on the table, allowing diners to assemble their own tacos. Serves 4.
Tacos are one of the most versatile meals around–check out these other taco recipes for more variations.