Black Bean Tacos with Poblano-Cashew “Crema”

With luscious, nutty crema-style sauce, roasted pepper flavor, and bright crunch, this vegan dish is about the “haves” and not about the “have nots.”

Serves 6.

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 medium onion, diced and divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 cups cooked black beans* Up to 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 jalapeño peppers (optional)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water, plus more for keeping beans from drying + ¼ cup in sauce +1 tablespoon
  • 12-16 corn tortillas, preferably warmed
  • 4-6 radishes, thinly sliced**

Cover cashews with water in a bowl and leave soaking on the counter for least 30 minutes.

Broil poblano peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet for 2-4 minutes on each side until charred (time will depend on oven). Remove from oven, turn off heat, and wrap with the aluminum foil, leaving space between the peppers and foil where possible. Close off the top of the foil to trap the steam and let rest for about 15 minutes.

While the peppers are steaming,prepare the beans.  Sauté 2/3 cups diced onion with 1 tablespoon oil in a pot over medium heat until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add cumin, black beans, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until water is reduced, stirring occasionally, then cover and turn off heat until served. Keep beans warm.

Remove poblano peppers from the foil. Peel off the blistered skin, cut off the tops, remove the seeds, and coarsely chop. If pepper is too hot or skin and seeds are not easily removed, run under cold water as you work. Drain the cashews and, if using, dice 1 jalapeño and thinly slice the other jalapeño pepper.

Using a food processing or high powered blender, purée the poblano pepper with the drained cashews, optional diced jalapeño, reserved 1/3 cup diced onion, remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and 1/4 cup water. Add more water as needed, one tablespoon at a time, and blend to create a creamy sauce-like texture.

To prepare tacos, layer a warm tortilla with a scoop of beans followed by the poblano crema, sliced radishes, optional jalapeño, and a few cilantro leaves. Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), avocado, and a squeeze of lime can also be added if desired. Tacos are best served “family style”, allowing guests to prepare their own.


*Bon Appetit uses cooked from dry beans, but you can substitute two 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed

**If pickled radishes are desired, pack radish slices into a jar or bowl and top with a mixture of 1/2 tablespoon agave syrup or sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1/4 cup red wine vinegar with 1/4 cup water. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Radishes will keep for up to 6 months in the refrigerator.