There's a great taco place in Austin called Papalote that won an award for it's cauliflower tortas. I've never tried them- I always opt for meatier fare (turkey mole! tinga de res!), but when I saw a big cauliflower at the farmers' market, I knew I wanted to turn it into tortas. The cauliflower was roasted with spices until it was speckled with crispy golden brown tips, then piled on a warm bolillo with refried beans, shredded cabbage (for crunch), cotija, avocado, and a peppy little creamy tomatillo salsa. What's not to love?
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/4 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup refried beans
2-3 ounces crumbled cotija
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 avocado, sliced thinly
creamy tomatillo salsa (recipe follows)
5-6 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, and halved
1/2 white onion, peeled and halved again
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 poblano pepper, halved, stem and seeds removed
1 jalapeno pepper, halved, stem and seeds removed
juice of half a lime
handful of cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
Step 1Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Crush the cumin and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle and toss with the cauliflower, olive oil, smoked salt, and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes. Stir a bit, and roast for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cauliflower is good and caramelized, with lots of crunchy bits.
Step 2While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the refried beans in a small skillet. Slice the bolillos open and toss in the still warm oven to toast up for a minute or two.
Step 3Spread the bottom half of the bolillo with a thin layer of refried beans. Top with a pile of your crispy roasted cauliflower. Garnish with the crumbled cotija, shredded cabbage, sliced avocado, and plenty of the creamy tomatillo salsa. Enjoy!
Step 4Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillos, onion wedges, garlic, poblano, and jalapeno on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Broil, rotating the sheet pan as necessary, until everything is uniformly charred.
Step 5Move the poblano and jalapeno from the sheet pan to the jar of a blender and place the top on. Allow the peppers to steam in the blender jar for 10 minutes or so. Then, transfer the peppers to a cutting board and remove the charred skins. Chop the roasted peppers and transfer back to the blender, along with the charred tomatillos, onions, and garlic. Add the juice of half a lime, a handful of cilantro, and a couple healthy pinches of kosher salt. Blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and blend again. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice or salt if necessary.