Grilled Veggie & Goat Cheese Tamales with Cilantro Pesto

Roasted Veggie and Goat Cheese Tamales

Nothing screams Mexican fiesta like a bunch of white people making scratch made {authentic?} Mexican food for a work potluck, right?


So this is the deal, pretty much everyone I work with are gourmet chefs when it comes to cooking. Everyone has a food background and we’re menu analysts, so we look at food and recipes all day long.

I have always wanted to make tamales from scratch, but with a “gourmet” spin. Because tamales often seem a little dry, I wanted to make a sauce for them but nothing that would overwhelm the taste of the vegetables and goat cheese. Therein lies the cilantro pesto idea. They turned out pretty incred, if I do say so myself.

Not gonna lie, they were a little time consuming, but very worth it!


For the Spinach Masa:
4 cups masa
1 bunch spinach, pulsed in a food processor until almost pureed
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups vegetable broth, warm
1 cup vegetable shortening

For the Grilled Vegetables:
2 zucchini, chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

To Assemble the Tamales:
Spinach Masa
Grilled Vegetables
About 8oz Goat Cheese
Corn Husks (soaked in warm water for at least an hour)


For the Masa:
In a large bowl, combine the masa, baking powder and salt. Then, add the broth a little at a time slowly incorporating it. In a mixer, add the shortening and masa mixture and mix thoroughly. Mix in spinach and fully incorporate.

For the Grilled Veggies:
Combine all ingredients and toss to coat veggies. Grill. Remove and allow to cool.

To assemble the tamales:
Add the goat cheese to the veggies and toss to mix.
Take a soaked corn husk and spread about 2 Tablespoons of masa mixture on and spread making about a 4″ square with husk room all around. then add about 1 Tablespoon of the veggie mixture in a line down the middle of the masa. Roll the husk together to seal the masa and cover the veggies. wrap the husk tightly and tie each end with strips of husk to secure. Repeat until all the masa and veggies are used. Mine made about 3 dozen tamales.
Either in a steam pot, or in large pots with some sort of apparatus rigged to steam food in, add about an inch of water. Add the tamales and steam for about 45 minutes. You may need to add water every now and then…just keep an eye on it and add when necessary. Remove from pots and either serve, or allow to cool and wrap in foil to freeze for another time.

Helpful References:
Tamale Making Videos:

Roasted Veggie and Goat Cheese Tamales


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