Tacos and burritos get the most attention when it comes to quick, portable Mexican food, but tortas deserve a moment in the spotlight. Built on crusty rolls, these sandwiches are stuffed with flavorful meats, cheese, beans, avocado and salsa, and sometimes cooked on a panini press until hot and melty. From chile and lime steak tortas to vegetarian mushroom and goat cheese tortas, here are a few recipes to try at home.Tortas are typically made on an oblong sandwich roll called a bolillo or a more round, soft bun called a telera. If you have a Mexican bakery nearby, you can seek out these rolls, or just look for any type of sandwich roll that is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, like an Italian roll.
Try one of the recipes below, or experiment with your own combination, layering your favorite stewed or grilled meats, vegetables, beans, cheese and salsa, and either serving it as is or grilling it with a panini press for an extra-special sandwich.
Anjali is a former private chef who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in Los Angeles. You can read more of her health-focused writing at Eat Your Greens.
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