Heirloom Bean and Bacon Tostada
We love to highlight vegetables and use proteins as a compliment for a satisfying and healthful combo. At Border Grill, we call it “Good for the Planet, Good for You” and follow an 80/20 rule—at least 80% plant based ingredients—building many dishes around vegetables, grains, beans, and fruit and using meat for flavor and garnish. It’s the way of the future. For this tostada, look for interesting dried heirloom beans like Christmas lima, scarlet runner, Peruvian yellow, or black calypso.
- 1 1/2 c. dried heirloom beans, a couple different varieties
- 3 to 4 bay leaves
- 1 small onion, cut into thick slices
- 2 c. trimmed green beans and yellow wax beans, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 4 oz. slab bacon or 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/16-in. batonettes
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 to 4 jalapeño chiles (red and green), stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 6 6-in. corn tortillas, fried until crispy
- 1 1/2 c. frisee lettuce, torn into pieces, for serving
- 1 ripe California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced, for serving
- 6 pieces crispy Serrano ham* (optional), for serving
- Cilantro aioli (see below)
- Cooking each variety in a different pot, cover beans with water. Add bay leaves and onion slices, diving evenly between pots. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat, simmering gently, covered, for 45 to 75 minutes or until beans are cooked through and creamy inside. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, remove bay leaves and onion, and drain thoroughly.
- Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil with a very large pinch of salt. Cook green and yellow beans until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and scatter on a platter lined with paper towels. Set aside to chill in the refrigerator.
- When all beans are ready, fry bacon in a skillet until crisp then drain on paper towels. Transfer a spoonful of bacon fat to a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, chipotle chiles, salt, and pepper. Whisk to form a vinaigrette. Add all cooked beans, jalapeño chiles, green onions, and crispy bacon and gently toss to evenly coat. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.
- To serve: Squirt or spread a little cilantro aioli on each crispy tostada and top with frisee lettuce. Mound bean salad mixture on top and garnish with avocado slices and a crispy Serrano ham slice if desired. Serve immediately.