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Crunchy Tostada Ensalada

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 tostadas
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Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

1 teaspoon honey 

1 teaspoon pureed canned chipotles in adobo

1/2 teaspoon cumin 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon coriander 

Tostada Ensalada:

Six 5 1/2-inch yellow corn tortillas

Canola oil, for brushing

Kosher salt

2 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice 

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/2 bunch) 

1/2 cup sliced black olives 

2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons 

2 cups Refried Beans, recipe follows

2 small roasted red beets, julienned (about 1/2 cup) 

6 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

Refried Beans:

1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted (see Cook's Note)

1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion) 

1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 large cloves) 

1 teaspoon cumin 

1/2 teaspoon coriander 

Kosher salt

Two 15.5-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed 

1 cup chicken stock, plus more as needed 

2 teaspoons pureed canned chipotles in adobo

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges, for serving 

2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco 

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro 


  1. For the vinaigrette: Add the vinegar, oil, honey, chipotle puree, cumin, salt and coriander to a jar, cover tightly with lid and shake until emulsified. Hold in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (Makes 3/4 cup.)
  2. For the tostada ensalada: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the tortillas on both sides with canola oil, then place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake until crispy but not browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, cilantro, olives and romaine. Toss with the vinaigrette and season with salt.
  4. Evenly spread 1/3 cup of the refried beans over each tortilla. Divide the salad among the tortillas, mounding it in the center. Top with beets and 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Refried Beans:

Yield: 2 1/4 cups
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until the spices are toasted and the garlic has softened, 1 minute. Add the pinto beans, chicken stock and chipotle puree and bring to a boil. Cook until the stock has reduced by about half and the mixture has thickened, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Off the heat, mash the beans to a smooth paste with a potato masher, leaving some beans partially mashed to add some texture. The beans should have the consistency of a thick sauce; if they're difficult to stir, they're too thick. If needed, thin the beans out with extra chicken stock, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Finish by stirring in the lime juice and adding salt to taste. Garnish with queso fresco and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

Cook’s Note

You can buy beets already roasted and peeled in most grocery stores. To roast beets at home, place beets in a foil packet with a little olive oil and salt and roast at 450 degrees F until an inserted pairing knife meets little resistance. The timing will depend on the size of the beets: a medium beat, the size of a clementine, will take about 45 minutes. In this recipe it's important to use refined coconut oil, for its neutral flavor. Substitute vegetable oil if necessary.