Gourstada, as in gourmet tostada.
Tostadas have to be one of the easiest and quickest meal or snack to make. We make some sort of variation of a tostada meal at the very least once a week. Whether it’s our huevos rancheros, a simple bean and cheese, or loaded with random delicious it always proves to satisfy.
On this tostada we used almost all home grown vegetables! Starting from the top- straight from the garden, 3 anchos, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil were combined with balsamic vinegar and salt to make a fresh Italian inspired salad. Just beneath baby bella mushrooms sautéed in plum sauce with home grown kale. Below that are black beans warmed with fresh jalapeño from… you guessed it, our garden! And of course at the base of it all are El Ranchero’s tostadas.
Ingredients : cherry tomatoes, basil, ancho, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, baby bellas, kale, plum sauce, black beans, jalapeños, El Ranchero tostadas, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese.
At the base of most our our tostadas we use some sort of bean, in this one we used black beans- no, we did not grow them. However the jalapeños were fresh cut from the pot, our first actual harvest of peppers all year! We may have picked these jalapeños a little soon, but they have been growing for quite a while & we just wanted to try them. There are plenty more where they came from; our jalapeño & “red” chili pepper pot is growing like crazy. So many peppers to go. Now, if only these supposed red chilis would turn red. Back to the black beans and jalapeños- drain black beans and simmer on low heat with diced jalapeños while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Next prepare your salad for the top. We used all the red cherry tomatoes from our garden, which was about ten and an additional handful from our organic produce delivery. They were chopped in quarters from the top making small wedges, a perfect bite size for this dish.
3 anchos were hollowed out, sliced in thin rings and then halved. They were the largest of our peppers so far, although they probably would have grown a little bigger; we felt it was time to cut them down as the slender stems could barely hold them up anymore and were not producing any more flowers. They were perfect for this meal though, very crisp and had a nice mild spice to them. The basil was sliced into thin strips as well. All ingredients were combined and tossed with some balsamic vinegar and kosher salt to taste. Set aside and refrigerate until serving time.
The last step in preparation for this meal is the mushroom kale layer. First chop kale into small pieces. Remove the stem from the center and slice or tear the leaf into small bits. Set aside and slice the mushrooms, in a large frying pan heat up a 2-3 tablespoons of plum sauce and a splash of olive oil, sauté mushrooms coating them with the plum sauce flavoring. Toss in kale and sauté a bit more. Once they are done cooking it’s time to plate your tostada. Remove from heat and get ready to assemble your meal.
Joe and I made 4 tostadas, 2 each and it was the absolute perfect amount. We were both completely full but not even a little bit over stuffed!
To assemble : lay El Ranchero tostadas on the plate, add beans and jalapeños, sprinkle with cheese if desired- we used a mixture of shredded cheddar and mozzarella because that’s what we had. Next make a layer of the mushroom and kale with plum sauce and top it off with your fresh ancho, basil, and tomato salad.
Generally we think of tostadas as being a Mexican flavored dish, we still used a lot of the same traditional ingredients (beans, corn tostada, tomatoes, and jalapeños) but introduced some completely different flavors to the dish as well. I really enjoyed this combination because the bottom layer of beans was a bit spicy and totally cooked, the middle layer was cooked a bit but still somewhat fresh with sweetness of the plum sauce, and the top layer of salad was also a bit spicy and flavored with basil but very fresh. It’s an odd mix of flavors but they all add something interesting to the dish and complement each other quite nicely.