This may not seem like much to many people but for those who know, I’m a confirmed carnivore. Not to say I don’t eat greens or a vegetarian dish here or there. Just that I my tastes lean in the other direction. But this meal was meat free and SUPERB so I wanted to share it. If you leave the cheese out, it would actually be vegan.
As is the reasoning when I try a lot of recipes these days, it’s as a means of dealing with the my overplanted vegetable patch. This is just that. A ton of tomatillos and a year’s worth of salsa verde in my freezer. Soup seemed like a good alternative. And it was indeed.
Tomatillo & Black Bean Soup
12 small tomatillos
2 red onions
2 jalapeno peppers
3 garlic cloves
15-ounce can black beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
15-ounce can hominy (I omitted these as I’m not a big fan)
3 green onions
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped + 3 sprigs
1 litre vegetable broth
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse them, then roughly chop them. Chop the red onions, and jalapeno peppers (remove the seeds). Cut the garlic cloves into quarters.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chopped veggies on the sheet, drizzle with enough olive oil to coat, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast until soft and slightly browned, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, drain and rinse the hominy and black beans. Also, prepare the garnishes: thinly slice the radishes and green onions, and chop the cilantro.
Add the roasted vegetables to a large pot. Add the vegetable broth, and use an immersion blender to puree until fully blended (alternatively, transfer the hot soup to a blender, then blend and return it to the pot).
Add 3 sprigs of cilantro and the hominy and black beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Remove the cilantro sprigs. Pour into bowls, and garnish with green onions, radishes, cilantro, and fresh-squeezed lime juice.
This next dish is like the best Bruschetta but Mexican. I love Bruschetta but this is THE BOMB.
This was created by Diane Unger as seen on Milk Street TV. I highly recommend this show and site FYI. It’s one of the absolute best out there for recipes and “how to”.
There are a couple of steps here but it’s really very easy. If you were to do the bean puree on it’s own and have it as a dip, I’d bet you’d still be very happy. If making the whole dish, make the Pico do Gallo towards the end as it’ll get mushy if it stands too long.
Makes 4 servings
8 thick slices crusty bread
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 cups Black bean puree (recipe below)
Mozzarella cheese to top toast (you decide the amount)
½ cup chopped cilantro
Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
You can top with slices of avocado and pickled jalapenos if you choose
Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray. Arrange the bread in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush the tops with the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Season with salt and pepper. Broil until the bread is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip each slice and broil until the second sides are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler.
Flip each side once again. Spread ¼ cup bean puree on each slice, then top each with some of the cheese (about 5 tablespoons each), dividing it evenly. Broil until the cheese is melted and begins to brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro,then transfer to a platter. Serve with pico de gallo, sliced avocado (if using) and pickled jalapeños (if using).
Black Bean Puree
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 15oz cans of black beans, (drained but not rinsed) reservng ¼ of the liquid from the can
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (available from the supermarket)
2 tbsps lime juice
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro
In a small skillet over medium, toast the cumin and coriander, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a food processor and add the beans and reserved liquid, chipotle chilies and adobo sauce, lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Pico de Gallo
1 pint cherry tomatoes or equivalent ripest regular tomatoes, roughly chopped
¼ red onion, finely chooped
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, roughly chooped
½ jalapeno chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
2 tsp white vinegar
1 ½ tsp olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, chili, vinegar, oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a serving bowl, letting the liquid drip away. Taste and season with salt.