Sheet Pan

Roasted Cauliflower Torta with Creamy Tomatillo Salsa

March  9, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

There's a great taco place in Austin called Papalote that won an award for it's cauliflower tortas. I've never tried them- I always opt for meatier fare (turkey mole! tinga de res!), but when I saw a big cauliflower at the farmers' market, I knew I wanted to turn it into tortas. The cauliflower was roasted with spices until it was speckled with crispy golden brown tips, then piled on a warm bolillo with refried beans, shredded cabbage (for crunch), cotija, avocado, and a peppy little creamy tomatillo salsa. What's not to love? —arielleclementine

What You'll Need
  • Roasted Cauliflower Tortas
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 2-3 ounces crumbled cotija
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 avocado, sliced thinly
  • creamy tomatillo salsa (recipe follows)
  • Creamy Tomatillo Salsa
  • 5-6 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, and halved
  • 1/2 white onion, peeled and halved again
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 poblano pepper, halved, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved, stem and seeds removed
  • juice of half a lime
  • handful of cilantro
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Roasted Cauliflower Tortas
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Crush the cumin and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle and toss with the cauliflower, olive oil, smoked salt, and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes. Stir a bit, and roast for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cauliflower is good and caramelized, with lots of crunchy bits.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the refried beans in a small skillet. Slice the bolillos open and toss in the still warm oven to toast up for a minute or two.
  4. Spread the bottom half of the bolillo with a thin layer of refried beans. Top with a pile of your crispy roasted cauliflower. Garnish with the crumbled cotija, shredded cabbage, sliced avocado, and plenty of the creamy tomatillo salsa. Enjoy!
  1. Creamy Tomatillo Salsa
  2. Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillos, onion wedges, garlic, poblano, and jalapeno on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Broil, rotating the sheet pan as necessary, until everything is uniformly charred.
  3. Move the poblano and jalapeno from the sheet pan to the jar of a blender and place the top on. Allow the peppers to steam in the blender jar for 10 minutes or so. Then, transfer the peppers to a cutting board and remove the charred skins. Chop the roasted peppers and transfer back to the blender, along with the charred tomatillos, onions, and garlic. Add the juice of half a lime, a handful of cilantro, and a couple healthy pinches of kosher salt. Blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and blend again. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice or salt if necessary.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).

1 Review

beejay45 July 21, 2013
I've been starting a tentative love affair with tomatillos, and I already love roasted cauliflower, so I'm definitely going to try these, less the cilantro. Boo! I'm one of those people who totally herks at the smell/taste of it.

This is very much how I season and roast my cauliflower, so this will be another excellent way to use up the leftovers. And, lucky me, I live in an area where I can get the bolillos at Safeway. Thanks, arielleclementine, for the great idea!