Yup, more things on toast. I love toast! I’ve been reading and watching a lot of Pati Jinich, thanks to my friend Natasha’s mama who kindly sends me Mexican cooking recs, and was glad for the reminder to make molletes. Refried beans with melted cheese and pico de gallo on toasted bread is always a yes. Apart from Pati, I found some great recipes online at Mexico in My Kitchen, Isabel Eats, and My Latina Table.
Inspired by these recipes, I made these Molletes with Breakfast Radish Pico with what I had in my kitchen. Pati has a Red radish pico recipe that made this seem like a reasonable idea. But I’d pretty much eat any and all versions of this, and can’t wait to make molletes a hundred different ways.
Molletes with French Breakfast Radish Pico
- 3 thick slices of crusty bread
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil, plus more for brushing bread
- 1 15oz can refried black beans
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup salsa verde, store-bought or homemade
- 1 1/2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 bunch French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/8 cup jalapeño chile, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped, to garnish (optional)
- 1 spring onion, greens thinly sliced, to garnish (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- Make the refried beans, and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the refried beans, chipotle pepper, and cumin. Cook, stirring until the beans are smooth and pasty, about 5-6 minutes. Taste and salt, as required.
- Make the French Breakfast radish pico, and set aside. In a bowl, combine the radish, jalapeño chile, cilantro leaves, lime juice, red onion, and salt to taste (yes, that’s it!).
- Pan-toast the bread and place them on a sheet pan. Brush the toasts with olive oil on both sides. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the bread until it gets crisp and brown. About 1-2 minutes on each side. Place the toasts on a sheet pan.
- Spread the refried beans on the toasts. Enough to cover the toasts. About a 1/2 inch layer on each of the toasts.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the refried beans. Evenly and generously. About 1/2 cup for each.
- Bake the toasts in the oven. About 8-10 minutes, until the queso fresco softens.
- Spread the salsa verde on each toast. A thin layer. About a tablespoon or so.
- Top the toasts with the radish pico. Loosely spoon enough over each toast to cover.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and thinly sliced spring onions (if using).
TIPS & SUBSTITUTIONS
- Beans. Canned refried beans are already salted, so that’s why you should taste and see if you’d like to add a pinch when cooking the beans. The kind I was using had plenty, so I didn’t add any myself. And while I used refried black beans, this recipe would probably taste pretty darn good with refried pinto beans. You might also find yourself with leftover beans, depending on how much you put on your toasts (I did!). If I open a can, I’m going to use it up. But no problem! The jazzed up leftover beans make for a yummy side or a quick bean & cheese burrito. And if you want to make homemade refried beans, please do. This was just meant to be the easy version.
- Bread. I used wide, thick slices of crusty seed loaf, which needed a little more love before baking, hence the pan-toasting. Many recipes use bolillos or baguette. If you use one of these or a gentler bread, you can skip the pan-toasting and just go straight to the oven. Just wait until the bread gets a little crispy before taking out your molletes.
- Radish. I happened to have a bunch of French Breakfast radish, so they went into this recipe. They’re very crisp and mildly spicy, and super pretty. But more commonly found Red radish, which is also crisp and more peppery, would work great. And I’d love to see what happens with Watermelon radishes. Whatever you use, slice thin!
- Salsa. I used a fresh salsa verde from Northgate Market, my local Mexican grocery store. Especially because I wasn’t using a traditional tomato-based pico de gallo, I loved the brightness and acidity of the tomatillos and jalapeños that contrasted nicely with the richness of the beans and cheese and the crispness of the radish. But if you’ve got a favorite salsa on hand, go for it!
- Cheese. I used queso fresco, which I love, but it does only soften and not melt. If you want melt or can’t find queso fresco, just use your favorite melting cheese. Many recipes call for a white melting cheese, such as Oaxacan cheese or mozzarella. You’ll also want to leave the toasts in the oven about 5-7 minutes longer until the cheese gets a little bubbly.
- Minus the cheese, this is vegan! And packs a whole lot of flavor between the beans, salsa, and pico.
Enjoy! And if you love toast as much as I do, check out my tips for Eggs Kejriwal.