Sep 4, 2010

achiote rubbed zucchini tacos

Rick Bayless says that achiote-seed-marinated pork is very popular in a certain region of Mexico - forgot exactly where. He makes a taco with pork marinated in ground achiote seeds and garlic. It sounded good to me - except for the pig, of course, so I decided that zucchini would be the ideal sub. Why? Because my CSA says so!

I put about a bulb of peeled garlic, 1 T of ground achiote seeds (a.k.a. annatto), 1 t of ground allspice, 1 t ground pepper, 2 t Mexican oregano, 1 t salt, and 3 T of cider vinegar, in the food processor and ground everything together. I marinated my zucchini slices in the mixture for an hour and grilled them until tender. 

I made a great roasted corn sauce (again because my CSA says so - I have about 10 ears of corn), by roasting them in a cast-iron skillet and blending them with 2 dried yellow peppers and some lime and orange juice (just a little orange), adding a bit of water as needed.

The picture is of the zucchini in corn tortillas, but both David and I found the corn to be overkill and had another taco in flour tortillas and this is what we recommend. This was great in the flour tortilla with a little hot sauce!

Wonderful summer flavors! 

Cost Breakdown:
corn: $1.50
zucchini: $2
tortillas: $2
lime, orange, onion (pickled): $1.50
spices, herbs: $1
rice: $1
Total to feed a family of 5:


  1. Sounds like a wonderful a wonderful taco. I love using achiote paste!

  2. This looks so good! I've never used achiote before.

  3. That sounds DELICIOUS...I love Mr. Bayless, and I think you did something awesome by making this veggie. BTW - Salsa sounds outstanding as well.

  4. I have never heard of anything like this but it sounds soooooo good!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love to mix things up and when it turns out to be good, it is even better. Thanks for all your comments.

    Achiote seeds are also known as annatto and they add a deep orange-red collor to food as well as flavor. See if you can find some and make an annatto seed infused oil by simmering 3 T of seeds in a cup of oil for 20 minutes. Use the oil to cook with, especially grains, to get the feel for them.

  6. I'm not a big fan of corn tortillas for that very reason. Yours looks gorgeous. Thanks for explaining too that achiote is annatto. I do know that work! :)


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