We’re catching that very-last-summer produce *moment*. The local cherry tomatoes could be gone tomorrow! Let’s do this.
Molletes are traditional, Mexican open-faced sandwiches, with refried beans, melted cheese and salsa (like, best grilled cheese ever!). They are eaten as a snack or meal, sometimes with a fried egg for breakfast. Pass the hot sauce!
I used a sweet potato base instead of bread just because it’s a more flavourful canvas and I love finding new ways of using my fav tuber – not because I have anything against bread.
Sweet Potato Base
- 1 kg / 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. cooking fat of your choice I like ghee
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 3 cups / 465g / about 2 cans cooked black beans drained and rinsed well (link: how to cook beans)
- 2 Tbsp. fat of choice I like ghee
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small red chilie minced, seeds removed (optional)
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. fine salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups / 125g grated melty cheese of choice queso Chihuahua or Oaxacan cheese is traditionally used, if you can get it
Pico de Gallo
- 1 pint / 200g cherry tomatoes
- ½ white onion
- juice of 1/2 lime
- generous pinch of salt
- ¼ cup / 10g cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes well (keep the skin on!), and slice them lengthwise into slabs. Toss them in your desired fat, and toss to coat. Season with the cumin, coriander, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, toss well to coat. Arrange on a lined baking sheet so that they aren’t touching (a little space is okay, but if they’re too close together they’ll steam one another and get soggy). Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes or so until tender.
- While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the refried beans. Heat your fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes until just turning golden. Add the chiles, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir continuously until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the beans and stir well to coat. While you’re heating them through, mash them with a bean masher, potato masher, back of a wooden spoon etc., until they are the consistency you like (add liquid to loosen if necessary; broth or water). Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Turn the oven up to broil, at 500°F / 260°C. Remove the potatoes from the oven and smear a good layer of the refried beans. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and place in the oven for 5 or so minutes, or until the cheese has melted and starting to turn bubbly golden.
- Let cool for a moment, then top with the pico de gallo. Serve immediately. Say thank you and enjoy. These make great leftovers / can be made ahead; just wait to top with pico de gallo until right before serving.