Ackee Tacos with Island Guacamole

We'll take two... or three... Alright, just hand us the platter.

9/17/2021 11:42:00 PM

We'll take two... or three... Alright, just hand us the platter.

Though it is Jamaica’s national fruit, ackee is cooked and used as a vegetable. With a subtle, almost nutty taste, it is an exciting addition to vegetarian menus.

2 tablespoons olive oil3 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantroSalt and freshly cracked black pepper to tasteAckee Filling:2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil or other vegetable oil1 small yellow onion, diced1 plum tomato, diced4 tablespoons diced bell pepper1/4 teaspoon seeded and minced Scotch bonnet pepper

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1 stalk scallion2 dozen frozen ackee or 2 cans ackee, drained (or 2 cups ackee, cooked from fresh)1 teaspoon thyme leavesSalt and freshly cracked black pepper to tasteFor assembly:12 taco shells (either soft or crunchy)2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce or purple cabbage1 large handful chopped fresh cilantroSalsa (optional)Make the guacamole:Step 1Dice or mash the avocado depending on your preference; it can have a more salsa-like texture if preferred. Add the remaining guacamole ingredients, gently stirring to combine. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the tacos.

Make the ackee filling:Step 2Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, tomato, garlic, bell pepper, Scotch bonnet pepper, and scallion, and cook until the ingredients are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ackee, thyme, chili powder, salt, and pepper, gently folding the ingredients together. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the mixture is heated through; remove from heat.

Step 3Serve assembly-line style, with the ackee mixture, guacamole, grated cheese, shredded lettuce or cabbage, cilantro, salsa, and sour cream (if using) in colorful bowls next to a basket of soft or hard taco shells. Alternately, serve a large platter of already assembled tacos: fill each shell with a few tablespoons of ackee, layer with lettuce, guacamole, and cheese, and top with a mound of fresh cilantro for a mouthful of exotic flavor. Serve with salsa and/or sour cream if you wish.

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