Roasted and Toasted Taco Tuesday: Garbanzo and Tomato Filling


Char gives flavor.  Lots of flavor.  So going on that theory these tacos have flavor to spare.  Lots of roasting and toasting involved to help develop the nuttiness of the garbanzo and the sweetness of the onions and tomatoes.  Nutty, sweet and slightly bitter to round it all out.  Oh that’s good.

First the onions get sautéed to bring out the natural sugars.  And for those who say they absolutely do not like onions I say try again because sautéed onions offer a lovely sweet quality that cannot be beat.  Next, the garbanzos get toasted developing an almost nutty flavor.  If you have ever had tapas then you know how crazy good toasted garbanzos can be.   Next, garlic and spices get some time in the pan to toast and enhance their flavors.  Finally the shortcuts are added: cans of roasted tomatoes and roasted green chilies.  But you can’t nestle all that flavor inside a soft, bland tortilla.  What to do?  Char it of course.  The tortilla will get crispy in some places and chewy in other areas giving it this unique texture.  Plus the char makes it sturdier so the filling stays inside the taco.  Voila!  A Roasted and Toasted Taco Tuesday or any other vessel you prefer: tostadas, sopes, enchiladas, quesadillas…


-2-3 tablespoons of oil;

– ½ onion, coarsely chopped;

– 1 15 oz. can of garbanzos, rinsed or 2 cups of cooked garbanzos;

-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped;

– 2 teaspoons of cumin;

-2 teaspoons o f chile powder;

– ½ teaspoon of paprika;

– ½ cup of white wine;

-1 14.5 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes;

-3 tablespoons of tomato sauce;

-1 4oz. can of roasted green chilies;


-1-2 teaspoons of sweetener (maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, honey, etc.) optional;

Optional Toppings:

-1 avocado, sliced into wedges;

– ½ cup of any fresh cheese, crumbled (I used Panela cheese which is a skim-milked cow’s cheese);

– ¼ cup of green olives thinly sliced or chopped;


Heat oil over medium heat until oil begins to shimmer.  Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Onions do not need to be translucent at this point.  Add drained garbanzo beans and crank up the heat to medium-high.  Keep an eye on the pan and stir as needed in order to keep the beans from sticking to the pan.  Allow the beans to get some color (remember: char=flavor).  Sprinkle in garlic, cumin, chile powder and paprika to the pan and toast for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

with spices

Pour in wine and turn heat back down to medium.  Scrap all the yuminess in the pan and let wine reduce to create the beginnings of a wonderful sauce.  Next, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilies and salt.  Stir to combine and let simmer for a few minutes in order for flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken up (it should resemble a stew more so than a soup).  Taste and if needed add sweetener to the mix (sometimes the tomatoes may be a little too acidic).  If using a gas stove, heat up tortillas directly over the open flame to attain a crunchy, crispy tortilla (No gas stove, no problem.  Either throw them in an oven for a few minutes or use a griddle on an electric stovetop to heat them up).


If desired top tacos with sliced avocado, cheese and green olives.  Smile as you chew the tacos and the saucy goodness drips down to your elbows.  Oh! And don’t forget the napkins-it’s that kind of taco.

in pan

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