Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with these simple and spicy vegetarian tacos made with Cubanelle and Poblano peppers. Bright greed and red peppers are blasted with the heat of a broiler for a smoky charred flavor and then roasted with olive oil. I like the sweetness of Cubanelle peppers in this recipe but rely on the heat of the Poblano pepper for flavor.
Did you know that there’s a specific scale used to determine the hotness of a pepper? It’s called the Scoville Scale and has been around since the early 20th century. The test, called the Scoville Organoleptic Test, measures human subjects’ reaction to concentrations of the chemical capsaicin, present in all peppers. Scoville’s scale is not entirely scientific since it’s based on subjective human reactions, however when determining whether a chili pepper will send you screaming to fridge for a gallon of milk.
Bell peppers measure a zero on the scale, while Jalapeños range from 1,000-4,000 Scoville heat units. A Cubanelle pepper is under 1,000, but beware of the Caroline Reaper which measures a whopping 2,200,000 on the scale. For this recipe, stick with the less hot varieties like bell peppers, Cubanelles, banana peppers and throw in a Poblano or two.
Vegetarian Tacos with Roasted Cubanelle and Poblano Peppers
Makes 4 tacos
3 peppers (1 red bell pepper, 1 Cubanelle, 1 Poblano)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tortillas (flour or corn)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped red onion mixed with 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 cup salsa verde
1/4 cup sour cream
Preheat your broiler. Prick each pepper with a knife a few times and lay flat on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for about 3 minutes on each side so that scorch marks appear. Then drizzle olive oil and cheese over the peppers and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Warm the tortillas in a skillet and prepare the serving condiments. Use a small serrated knife to cut each pepper in half. Scrape out the seeds and drain off any excess moisture. Slice the peppers into strips and add 4-5 strips per taco. Top with onion and cilantro mixture and serve.
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Photos by Ally-Jane