Friday, August 12, 2011

Torta Mexicana with Char-grilled Courgette

Tortas are Mexican filled rolls, stuffed to overspilling with delicious fillings. The trick is to remove some of the crumb from the top half of the roll beforehand, in order to be able to fit more filling in (I can't believe I didn't think of that before!). Traditionally I believe the bottom half is spread with refried beans first, which sounds delicious but as this was a quick lunch unfortunately I didn't have any refried beans 'handy'. So I have just used mashed avocado as a spread. I have used courgette as the hot element to this filled roll, but other char-grilled vegetables could be used, or a fried egg, or meat lovers could use bacon or chorizo (as Thomasina Miers used recently in her mexican TV cookery show on Channel 5, which gave me the idea to make torta today). To make this vegan, leave out the cheese.

Makes 2 tortas

-2 large crusty rolls (pain rustique type), or 2 large chunks of ciabatta or rustic baguette.
-1 courgette, halved widthways then sliced lengthways 
-1 avocado
-4 slices of mature cheddar cheese, crumbled
-2 spring onions, sliced
-4-5 radishes; thinly sliced
-2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
-2 tsp chopped jalapenos
-4 little gem lettuce leaves
Cholula mexican sauce (or tabasco or similar - optional)
1 tsp sunflower oil

1. Heat a griddle or plancha until hot, then place the courgette slices on it, brushing both sides with a little sunflower oil. Grill until soft, turning regularly.
2. Slice the rolls in half then hollow out the top halves (leave roughly 1cm of crust). Move the courgettes to one side and toast the inside of the rolls on the griddle for a minute or two.

3. Scoop out the avocado and divide between the bottom halves of the rolls, mashing and spreading it out to the edges. Top with the chopped coriander, radishes, spring onion and jalapenos, pressing down. Lay some courgette slices on top followed by the cheese. At this point feel free to drizzle over your hot sauce of choice. Top with the lettuce leaves then close the roll with the top halves and press down firmly.

YUM. This is the best roll I have had in a long time! 


  1. Hi Sarah! How is life in Southfields? Oh my! This torta looks incredible. I love avocado. We eat plenty of it here in California. Nice big Haas avocados. You seem to be an afecionado of Mexican food. Last night we went to the County Fair and ate Pupusas. They are a Salvodoranean dish similar to the Mexican Gorditas. Mmmm. As always. Great photos and recipes. Hugs!

  2. Hi Mario!

    Yes I have been going through a Mexican phase lately and can't get enough of it! However I have been on holiday in France for the past two weeks so have been eating my way through a large selection of fromages :-)

    Back to Southfields tomorrow, where we dont really have the weather to produce the lovely avocados you must get, but luckily we can get imported ones quite easily!


  3. Oh my goodness that sounds good! Ok, I am off to add you to my blog list. I am drooling over everything you are making :)

  4. Thanks Jacqueline! I quite often browse your blog for veggie recipes too.

    Happy cooking!