Vegan Tostadas with Hearts of Palm Ceviche from the new cookbook Vegan Mexico by Jason Wyrick.
Mexican food has long been one of my favorite cuisines. For my 11th birthday my parents allowed me to invite one friend out to dinner to celebrate, in lieu of a party. She and I both dressed up in our fanciest church dresses and my parents took us to Chi Chi’s—a very inauthentic Mexican restaurant chain on the east coast. My tastes have grown up since then, and now I try to seek out more authentic Mexican food. Irving and I regularly have the discussion of “what cuisine would you choose if you could only choose one to eat for the rest of your life?” Mexican food always makes the top 3. Nine years ago (this month!) Irving and I honeymooned in Cancun, and I fell deeper in love with authentic Mexican cuisine (and my new husband 😉 ). Then just this past January the four of us travelled to Cabo, where I was once again in food heaven. In fact, our trip inspired a few new recipes—Fajita Tofu and Frijoles de Cabo. So when I was given the opportunity to snag a review copy of Jason Wyrick’s new book Vegan Mexico I jumped at the chance!
^^^ Then (November 2007), in Cancun, and now (January 2016), in Cabo. What a difference 9 years makes!
^^^ Our ‘molcajetes’ are from the Dominican Republic, but they played the part quite well for this recipe!
The whole book is incredibly mouthwatering—gorgeous pictures, easy to follow directions, and fun and creative recipes. I chose to try the Tostadas with Hearts of Palm Ceviche first, as ceviche has always been one of Irving’s favorite dishes. He’s made me a vegan mango ceviche before, so it was my turn to return the favor.
Traditionally ceviche is made with raw fish, marinated in lime juice. The acid in the juice “cooks” the fish just enough for it to be safe to eat. It’s often served as an appetizer.
When I first opened up the Hearts of Palm, a new ingredient for me, I was surprised that they had an almost fishy smell to them. Never having been a fan of seafood in the past, and certainly not now, I wasn’t sure how it would work in the dish. However, by the time it was all mixed together the flavor was perfect. The bright lime juice and the oregano bring everything together.
The boys were both obsessed with the ceviche. Jonathan and I had the leftovers from our dinner for lunch the next day. Jonathan asked over and over for “more ‘beach-ay!’ More ‘beach-ay!'” When David came home and found out that it was gone he was disappointed, so we’ll be making this again soon!
We opted for the baked tostadas. Not because I cared about the nutrition of the fried tostadas, but because I was too lazy to feel like dealing with the mess of the oil 🙂 The baked tostadas got pretty crunchy, and I think I would have enjoyed the fried version more (duh!), but the dish felt really light and healthy when following the oil free directions.
We’ll definitely be making this dish again—it would be an awesome summer meal! The ceviche would be a perfect taco filling, even though that is far from traditional. I served our Tostadas with Hearts of Palm Ceviche with my Frijoles de Cabo. It rounded it out for a perfect dinner. I can’t wait to explore the rest of the book. I’m dying to try the Helado de Elote (Corn Ice Cream)—it’s my favorite flavor when we go to Puerto Rico and I can’t wait to try it at home. And the Bebidas (drinks) section is calling my name….loudly! Want to see for yourself? Enter below to win a copy of Vegan Mexico by Jason Wyrick (US residents only please)! And be sure to try out the ceviche recipe below!
Tostadas with Hearts of Palm Ceviche
- 8 3-inch hearts of palm pieces, fresh or jarred, but not canned
- 3 Roma tomatoes seeded and coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 serrano chiles seeded and minced
- 1/2 small red onion minced
- 2 ripe Hass avocados pitted, peeled, and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 8-ounce package savory baked tofu, cut into 1/4-inch dice, optional
- 8 5-inch corn tortillas
- Corn oil for frying
- Chipotle chile flakes optional, for garnishing
- Smash the hearts of palm a few times using a molcajete (mortar and pestle) or in a mixing bowl with a potato masher. In a medium bowl, combine the hearts of palm, tomatoes, serranos, onion, avocados, cilantro, Mexican oregano, salt, lime juice, olive oil, and tofu (if using). Let this sit for at least an hour. If it is going to sit for more than 2 hours, cover it with plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated. It will last about 1 day refrigerated.
- Add about 1/2 inch of corn oil to a medium pan and heat it to 375°F, until it’s hot but not smoking. Fry a tortilla on both sides for about 1 minute, until crispy, then it set aside on a paper towel to cool and drain.
- Top each fried tortilla with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the hearts of palm mixture. Garnish with the crushed chipotle chile flakes if you want it spicier.
- Make It Without Oil: Omit the olive oil from the ceviche. Bake the tortillas in the oven at 250°F for 10 minutes, until crunchy.