This fresh, vibrant, easy appetizer has lots of south-of-the-border flavor and will be the first thing to disappear at your next gathering!
If you live in the U.S. and you’ve gone to the grocery store anytime in the last week, you know that there’s a big party brewing! I’ve been shopping several times recently, and I’ve been amazed at how everything is focused on the Super Bowl. Practically every other end cap is bulging with bags of chips, pretzels, crackers and various other snacking items. Munching your way through the big game has become as synonymous as apples and pie.
And nachos. I couldn’t help craving nachos when I saw all the wonderful south-of-the-border ingredients on display. A picture from Bon Appétit caught my eye and, while I didn’t follow their recipe, it was definitely an inspiration.
The Bon Appétit version calls for pureeing black beans, but I decided on a simple sauté with olive oil, onions, garlic and a pinch of both cumin and chili powder. They used two different salsas, but I made an easy, fresh salsa verde in the blender and topped my nachos off with diced tomato and avocado. Lots of fresh cilantro leaves make a pretty garnish. If you don’t care for cilantro, basil would also work for the sauce as well as the garnish, although the flavor will be different.
I used a Mexican blend shredded cheese, but just about any good melting cheese will work well for these nachos. This is not the time to skimp on cheese though. That’s what Scott told me after my first batch. “These ARE nachos” he said, “and it IS Super Bowl, after all!” I have to admit, he was right. The second go round, I was much more generous with the cheese and it made a huge, delicious difference.
But extra cheese is okay – after all, have you heard the Super Bowl rule? It goes like this: Calories don’t count up during the big game, only points for your favorite team. I like that, how about you?
Seriously, these nachos won’t win a low calorie appetizer race, but they’ll definitely rank super high in the fresh and crazy delicious categories. Be sure to put the ingredients on your shopping list, you’ll run into most of them as soon as you step foot in your local grocery store!
P.S. If you’re looking for more fun Super Bowl Recipes, check out our Easy, Delicious Appetizers for Game Day
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Readers often ask what kind of cookware, small appliances, cutlery, etc. I use in the kitchen. Here’s what I used to make this recipe.
- For the black beans:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ large red onion finely diced
- 2 medium cloves garlic finely minced
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup black beans rinsed and well drained
- For the Salsa Verde:
- 8 ounces tomatillos* husks removed and washed well
- 1 medium clove garlic
- ½-2 jalapenos**
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ cup cilantro
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ medium white onion roughly chopped
- For the nachos:
- 1 11- ounce package tortilla chips
- 12 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheese of your choice
- 2 medium plum or Roma tomatoes seeds removed and diced in small pieces
- 1 medium avocado cored, peeled and diced small
- fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- fresh lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium size sauté pan. Add the diced red onion and sauce for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Add the black beans and stir well. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To make the Salsa Verde, combine tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, honey and salt in a blender container. Pulse on and off until large pieces are broken down, but mixture is still a bit chunky. Add onion and pulse a few more times.
- Arrange half of the tortilla chips on a rimmed baking sheet or large oven-safe platter. Top with half of the shredded cheese. Add a second layer of chips and cover chips with the remaining cheese, leaving a small border around the edge free of cheese.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey. Top with the small dollops of salsa verde, reserved black beans, diced tomato, diced avocado and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges and extra salsa verde.
* Tomatillos look like green tomatoes. They have bright, citrusy flavor and are a key ingredient in Mexican and Central-American cuisines. You'll find them near the tomatoes in the produce section of larger grocery stores and also Hispanic markets. They have a papery husk covering the fruit which should be removed before eating. I find it's easy to remove the husk under warm running water. The water will also remove a sticky coating on the tomatillos which is actually, a natural insect repellent.
** Jalapeños vary tremendously in heat levels. For the Salsa Verde, I recommend starting with a half, then tasting before adding the onion. You can always add more but it's hard to take heat away.
Recipe inspired by Bon Appétit