Wild Mushroom + Black Bean Tostadas
Tostadas! If you haven’t had a tostada before, imagine a taco in a tiny crispy pizza form. Or you could think of it as a giant nacho with all the goods on top. You can’t go wrong with either of those daydreams.
Tostada means toasted in Spanish, and refers to the crunchy tortilla base acting as a vehicle for lots of delicious toppings here. The tortilla can be fried or baked to make it crisp. Then it is commonly served beneath a layer of refried beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, and a meat like chicken, pork, or beef. They are full of fresh Latin flavors, and are fun (okay and a bit messy too sometimes) to eat.
I wanted to create a simple version of this classic that offered bold flavor while sticking to a balanced, nutrient dense preparation and ingredient list. These guys here happen to be vegetarian, and can be easily made vegan too sans the queso fresco. Mushrooms are so savory and satisfying, making a suitable substitute for the traditional meat served with tostadas. Black beans provide a good dose of plant based protein in this dish, so you don’t necessarily have to stress over any missed protein when enjoying these as a meal. But, I think you might be too distracted by how good these taste to be thinking about protein.
These make a great meal to prep, assemble, and enjoy with a group. Or try them for your next taco night. If you like tacos, you will like tostadas. And, you can feel good knowing they are packed with whole foods nutrition to fuel your body. ¡Buen provecho!
Wild Mushroom + Black Bean Tostadas
Makes 4-6 tostadas
4-6 small tortillas
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 can (about 15 oz./450g) black beans, drained and rinsed
12 oz. (340g) fresh mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
¼ tsp. chipotle powder
1 ripe avocado, cubed
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 small Fresno chilies (or other medium-spicy chili peppers), thinly sliced
4-6 tbs. queso fresco
Heat oven to 325°F/165°C. Place tortillas directly on the oven rack and let bake for about 30 minutes. They are done when golden and crisp throughout.
While the tortillas are baking, heat a small pot on medium heat. When hot, add 1 tsp. oil, then half the chopped onion and 2 cloves of the garlic. Season with a pinch or two of salt. Stir frequently and cook until they are translucent. Add in the beans, chipotle, cayenne, and ¼ cup water. Cook for ~2 minutes, or until beans are heated through. Use a large spoon or fork to mash the beans against the side of the pot to make a semi-smooth bean spread. Taste and add more seasoning if you like. Cover and set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. When hot, add 1 tsp. oil, and then the rest of the chopped onion and 1 clove garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the mushrooms and a big pinch of salt. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until they have released their liquid and caramelized a bit.
Time to assemble! Make sure the mushrooms and beans are hot-warm for serving, so reheat if they are not. On each tortilla, spread a bit of the beans, then top with mushrooms, cilantro, avocado, chilies, and queso fresco. Serve with lime wedges.
All ingredients separately will keep for a few days in the fridge. The tortillas though can keep for at least a week at room temperature though.
Notes: Choose if you want to make this recipe for 4-6 tortillas. Less tortillas means more good stuff on each. You can increase or omit the chipotle and cayenne depending on your spiciness preference. As is, the beans are seasoned to a medium-spiciness. You can prep these ahead of time if you want, just don’t assemble until it is time to eat though. If you can’t use wild mushrooms, any kind of mushroom will do really. Omit the Fresno chilies on top if you are sensitive to spice. Need to feed a crowd? Easily double or triple this recipe. If you can’t find queso fresco, feta can be substituted.