What is a torta? Torta is a Spanish-language word that has various meanings when applied to food but to me, it has always meant a sandwich. It can be hot or cold and is unbelievably hearty and delicious when properly prepared. When you make a torta with Portobello mushrooms, avocado, a spicy Salvadorian curtido, and cilantro – it’s a vegan delight that can’t be beaten!
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
½ cup onion (thinly sliced)
1 fresh large jalapeño (seeded and finely diced)
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
4 large Portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ cup cilantro (chopped fine)
4 fresh-baked Mexican bolillos(cut in half – crusty Kaiser rolls also work well)
1 lime (cut into 4 wedges for garnish)
Pour four cups boiling water over cabbage, carrot, onion, and jalapeño in a bowl. Steep five minutes. Drain. Set aside. Bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and oregano to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over cabbage mixture. Cover mixture and allow to marinate while grilling the mushrooms.
Heat grill to medium heat (350 – 400 degrees). Remove stems from mushrooms and clean mushroom tops to remove any residual dirt/mulch. Brush tops and bottoms of mushrooms with olive oil. Grill mushrooms for eight minutes on one side, turn over and continue to grill the other side for another eight minutes. Remove from grill and set aside. Grill buns for about one minute or until nice grill marks appear. Remove from grill and set aside.
In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice. Spread the mashed avocado on the bottom half of the bolillos. Place one mushroom on top of each bolillo half. Mound ½ cup of curtido on top the mushroom. Add a tablespoon of cilantro on top of that and place the tops of the bolillos on the finished tortas. Cut in half and serve with escabeche (marinated jalapenos, carrots and onions) and a wedge of lime on the side.