This week the weather around here hasn’t exactly been the kind that gets you thinking about grilling out. But, hey, a warm day in January is colder than a cool day in April and we grill then, so why not now?
At least that was my thought yesterday when Pete asked me if I was interested in grilling. I inquired what he was thinking of, and his response of mushrooms got my wheels spinning. I know he was thinking of portabella mushrooms caps, marinated, grilled and made into a yummy sandwich, but my mind went in a slightly different direction—grilled vegetable tostadas. Spicy, smoky, and slightly charred, veggies of vibrant colors piled on crisp corn tortillas with some creamy guacamole as a crowning touch and maybe a bit of cheese—wouldn’t that be fabulous!?!
A quick stop at the store for crimini mushrooms (baby portabellas—they grill up just as meaty as the big ones) and a couple other items and we were set to get those veggies marinating. While all the marinade flavors were doing their thing, I made a quick batch of guacamole and Pete fired up the grill. Less than 15 minutes after the grilling started, we sat down to a delicious dinner.
You can vary the vegetables to your liking and skip the cheese if you want to keep it vegan—this packs plenty of flavor without it. Pomegranate molasses isn’t easy to find, but some Asian or Middle East food stores and larger super markets stock it. I ordered it from Amazon—a bottle lasts a long time and you’ll find yourself using it in all sorts of recipes (I’ve heard a few drops take a simple glass of champagne over the top!). But if you don’t have it, this will still be wonderful.
Grilled Vegetable Tostadas
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
½ teaspoon Korean chili flakes (can sub regular crushed red pepper flakes)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
1 10 oz. package crimini mushrooms, stems trimmed and cut in half (keep smaller ones whole)
1 small green pepper, cut into chunks
1 small orange bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red onion, cut into chunks
4-6 corn tortillas, brushed lightly with olive or grapeseed oil
1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
3 scallions, sliced diagonally
A handful of cilantro or Italian parsley, chopped
Guacamole (recipe follows)
Sriracha or other hot sauce
Shredded or crumbled cheese of choice, optional
Place prepared vegetables in a large zip-lock bag or large shallow container. Mix oil, lime juice, pomegranate molasses, chili powder, chili flakes, garlic, oregano and salt; pour over vegetables, toss and let marinade 20-30 minutes.
While veggies are marinating, prepare guacamole and prep your mango, scallions and cilantro/parsley.
Heat gas grill to 500 degrees F. or a charcoal grill to fairly hot (hopefully you know more than I do about charcoal grilling!). Spray a pan designed for a grill (has holes all over it, but small pieces can’t fall through) with cooking spray and place on hot grill. Dump the veggies onto the pan and spread them to a single layer. Cover grill and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir veggies and cook for another 5-7 minutes. During the last 3 or 4 minutes, place the corn tortillas on the upper rack of your grill (or away from the fire if you don’t have a shelf). Flip them after a couple minutes and continue cooking until crisp.
To serve, place a couple tortillas on a plate, slightly overlapping and top with a little cheese (if using). Spoon lots of grilled veggies over the cheese. Garnish with any or all: mango, scallions, cilantro, guacamole, hot sauce and more cheese.
1 ripe avocado, pitted and removed from skin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt, to taste
Mash avocado with garlic in a small bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice and salt and mix. Taste and add more lime juice or salt, if necessary.