The vegan queso sauce has been adapted from minimalistbaker.com.
Recipe, styling and photograph by Hein van Tonder
- juice of 1 lime + extra half, to serve
- 60ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 4 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted
- 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- juice of 1 – 2 limes
VEGAN QUESO SAUCE
- 1 medium aubergine
- olive oil, to drizzle
- sea salt flakes, to taste
- 250ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond ilk + extra, if needed
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and mashed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cornflour mixed with a little water to form a paste, if needed
- 250g tortilla corn chips
- 1 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
- sliced fresh or pickled jalapenos, to serve
For the salsa, mix the juice of 1 lime and the 60ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl, then add the remaining salsa ingredients. Mix gently, season to taste and set aside.
For the guacamole, scoop out the avocado flesh onto a cutting board. Add the red onion and chilli. Chop together until combined. Add the fresh coriander and chop again. Spoon into a bowl and add the juice of 1 – 2 limes, tasting as you go. Season to taste with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
For the vegan queso sauce, preheat the oven grill. Slice the aubergine into 1cm-thick rounds. Arrange the aubergine rounds on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the sea salt flakes. Grill in the preheated oven, turning once, until the flesh is tender, about 6 minutes on each side. Keep a close watch so the aubergine does not burn. Remove from oven and wrap loosely in foil to allow the slices to steam for a few minutes. Unwrap, then remove and discard the aubergine skins.
In a blender, combine the grilled aubergine slices with the almond milk, nutritional yeast, garlic and spices and blitz until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Pour the mixture into a small saucepan on medium heat and cook until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add more almond milk to thin it out, if needed. Alternatively, add a little cornflour paste to thicken, if necessary.
To assemble, spread the tortilla corn chips evenly on a large ovenproof plate. Spoon the well-drained black beans on top and place under the preheated grill until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Keep a careful watch so they do not burn. Remove from oven. Serve immediately scattered with sliced jalapenos, and with a lime half and the salsa, guacamole and queso alongside.