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Black Bean and Plantain Tostadas
with avocado crema / spinach salad

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
If you're looking to add some variety to the taco routine, tostadas are a great way to mix things up. With the tortillas baked flat until they are nice and crisp and ingredients piled on top, these are messy and fun to eat. This filling vegetarian version is topped with lightly sweet plantains and savory black beans.


Black Bean and Plantain Tostadas:
  • Shallots - 2 , diced
  • Plantains, large - 2 , peeled and chopped (ripe plantains resemble bananas but should be very dark brown on the outside)
  • Cilantro leaves - 2 Tbsp , chopped
  • Beans, black (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Tortillas, taco-sized corn or flour - 8
  • Avocado crema (ingredients listed separately) - 1/4 cup
  • Pepitas / pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup
Avocado Crema:
  • Cilantro leaves - 2 Tbsp , chopped
  • Avocados - 1
  • Sour cream - 1/4 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
  • Lime juice - 1 1/2 Tbsp
Spinach Salad:
  • Spinach, baby - 4 oz
  • Avocado crema (ingredients listed separately) - 1/2 cup


  1. Shallots - Dice shallots. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make avocado crema - Chop cilantro leaves (portion for crema) and peel avocados (discard pits). Combine cilantro, avocados, sour cream, and lime juice. Blend using an immersion blender or standing blender until smooth. Season with some salt. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  3. Plantains / Cilantro (portion for tostadas) - Prep as directed and store separately.
  4. Beans - Drain and rinse beans.

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  1. Preheat oven to 500F / 260C.
  2. While oven is heating, heat a nonstick pan with first part of cooking oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until nearly soft, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add plantains and cook for 3 minutes more.
  4. Stir in beans, cumin, and chili powder.
  5. Lightly mash plantain / bean mixture with the back of a fork or spatula (it doesn’t need to be completely mashed, but this will help the filling to hold together on the tostadas).
  6. Season with some salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Make tostada shells by brushing both sides of tortillas with second part of cooking oil and spread them out in a single layer on a sheet pan (use two pans if needed). Bake tortillas for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until crisp.
  8. While tostadas bake, toss spinach with avocado crema (portion for salad).
  9. Assemble tostadas by topping tortillas with plantain / bean mixture. Drizzle with avocado crema (portion for tostadas) and top with pepitas and cilantro. Enjoy tostadas with salad on the side.



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