White bean tostadas

White bean tostadas

Hungry For That
Lauren Bamford

One of my first ever taco truck experiences in the States was at a seafood taco truck in East LA over by Highland Park. It was an old-school type of truck, no Twitter or Facebook, just the same spot day in and day out. I was staying with my good friend Jeff Jank from Stones Throw records. I had driven past this truck many a time between Jeff’s office and his house but never thought to stop. Highland Park a few years ago didn’t really have any spots for breakfast or lunch so I was always struggling to find something local. On one of these ‘hungry in LA with no car’ struggles, I walked on down to the truck and was really pleasantly surprised by the freshness of the seafood tostadas.

Tostadas are crisp-fried tortillas, and can be topped however you like – get creative. I love them; they make you think about what you’re eating a little bit differently. Unlike a soft taco, which I always eat far too quickly, the tostada commands you to take your time, or the whole thing will come crashing down. Whenever we cater for a wedding or a party we always try and get the hosts to go with some tostadas for starters. I like to do a small tostada, which is around 5 cm in diameter but you can easily go for bigger.

You can buy tostada chips from South American food stores. Otherwise, most supermarkets will carry plain, round corn (tortilla) chips, which work well as a substitute.


Quantity Ingredient
1 avocado, thinly sliced
12 tostada chips

White beans

Quantity Ingredient
3 teaspoons olive oil
7 garlic cloves, sliced
2 rosemary stalks, about 15 cm long
800g tinned cannellini beans, drained
500ml chicken stock


Quantity Ingredient
70g pepitas
40g sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3-4 teaspoons chilli flakes, preferably chile de arbol


  1. To make the white beans, gently heat the oil, garlic and rosemary in a small saucepan or paella pan over a low heat for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is translucent. Stir in the beans then add the stock. Cook for 20–30 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and saucy, but the beans are still whole.
  2. To make the chiltepil, toast the pepitas in a dry frying pan over low heat, until light brown and fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and use a pestle to break them up slightly.
  3. Combine the pepitas with the sesame seeds, salt, sesame oil and chilli flakes.
  4. To assemble, place 2 slices of avocado on each tostada and top with a spoonful of beans and a sprinkling of chiltepil.
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