A Salad with Crunch and Substance: Bean and Vegetable Tostadas



  1. Vegetable oil, for frying
  2. 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  3. 2 pinches coarse salt
  4. 1 (14-ounce) can spicy vegetarian refried beans (vegetarian beans contain no lard)
  5. 1 cup shredded smoked Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack
  6. 1 heart Romaine lettuce or 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
  7. 2 small plum tomatoes, diced
  8. 1 small white skinned onion, finely chopped
  9. 2 tablespoons (a palm full) chopped cilantro or parsley


  1. Heat 1/8 to 1/4-inch oil over medium high heat.
  2. Fry tortillas 30 seconds on each side to light golden, 1 tortilla at a time.
  3. Drain tortillas on brown paper sack.
  4. Season with a little coarse salt while hot.
  5. Heat beans in microwave or small pan over moderate heat.
  6. Spread hot beans on tortillas and top with a handful of shredded smoked Cheddar or Jack cheese.
  7. Top cheese with shredded lettuce, diced tomato bits, and chopped onion.
  8. Garnish tostadas with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley and serve.