Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer eating: Tostadas

I tend to lean back from recipes in the summertime. Partly, it's the giddy privilege of the gardener, I think: you pick whatever's ripe and work with it. Over the years, we've gotten pretty good at figuring out the whole summer eating thing, at keeping on-hand the things that can be paired with garden produce in endlessly variable and delicious combinations. In summer, we keep in the house at all times a tub of block feta (which lasts ages in the fridge), red onions (awesome in salsas, salads, and on the grill), and frozen blocks of cooked dried beans-- white, chickpea, and black. Cans of beans could also be subbed (and we keep those on hand for emergencies), but soaking and cooking our own is worlds cheaper. And tastier. We keep tomatoes in the house, too, during June and most of July before our garden's tomatoes are ready, because my husband is a tomatophile, and restricting his fresh tomato intake to August and September feels cruel. Also, in the house at all times during the summer (and most of winter, too) we keep tortillas. 

There is something festive about a tortilla. They're cheap, they keep really well, and they make a terrific foundation. For tostadas, we coat them with vegetable oil and grill them on one side, then flip them, top them, and grill until the bottom is done.

At the top of the post, we topped them with marinated mashed chickpeas (like chunky hummus) with lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper; grilled broccoli (cooked while the tortillas were grilling), mozzarella cheese, and a bruschetta-like tomato salsa.

For the picture above, we went a little more traditional with black beans, sharp cheddar, sauteed kale (gotta get the greens in!), piquant salsa and, for me at least, a liberal dose of fresh cilantro.

By the end of this month, I imagine, we'll be topping tostadas with grilled zucchini and tomatoes from our own garden... they're getting there, slowly but surely, and my goodness, we are going to have a lot of tomatoes. Next week we'll have green beans, the first zucchini will probably be ready Sunday, and oh my, the cucumbers. I pulled up the pea vines and planted long rows of winter carrots and beets. I am happy for July. May and June are eager anticipation, but, in the good years, July is triumph.

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Becky said...

I love topping tortillas with all sorts of stuff. Or topping and rolling 'em up all burrito like.

How do you fix your "chunky hummus?"

Kristina Strain said...

Just added some lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and a little oil. I was going European, not middle eastern, so I left out the tahini. Just mash with a potato masher; helps if the chickpeas are a little overcooked, like mine were.

Becky said...

Ah, Thank you. I never have tahini when I need it.

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