Courtesy Our California Table, Brian Talley
This is the type of dish that looks impressive and catches the eye with its bright colors, but it’s simple enough to put together, and many steps can be done in advance. Serve these on their own, or create a spread with guacamole and cabbage salad. The guacamole and its suggested wine pairing, are complementary, but a Margarita wouldn’t be out of place either.
- 2 pounds dry pinto beans
- 4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 cups canola oil or lard
- ⅔ cup jalapeño juice from pickled jalapeños
- 9 radishes, coarsely chopped
- 4 cups chopped green cabbage
- 2 cups chopped red cabbage
- 1½ cups chopped scallions, both white and green parts
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped, about 2 cups
- 3½ cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups cilantro, chopped, more for garnish
- 4 pickled jalapeños, chopped
- 24 small corn tortillas
At least four hours and up to two days ahead, wash beans and remove any rocks or debris. In large pot, cover beans with water. Cook at low simmer until tender, about 2 hours. Add 4 teaspoons salt.
About 90 minutes before serving, put 1½ cups oil and beans in frying pan. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, then mash beans. Add jalapeño juice. Cook, stirring to prevent sticking. As beans incorporate fat and begin to take on sheen, reduce heat and continue cooking and stirring. Season to taste with salt, if desired.
Make salsa by combining radishes, cabbages, scallions, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños and remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Let sit in bowl so flavors combine.
Heat remaining 1½ cups oil over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas, 1 or 2 at a time, for about 30 seconds until deep golden brown. Transfer to paper towels.
To serve, place a dollop of beans on each tostada, top with salsa and garnish with cilantro. Serves 8–12.
The Martin Ranch Thérèse Vineyards Viognier is a good match here. This plush wine is a good textural match for the refried beans, while plenty of stone fruit notes add brightness.