I remember when I first stumbled upon the “Will it Waffle?” book. I picked it up in a bookstore and looked at nothing else for the next hour. It is such a clever book, and I loved the curiosity of the author, who ventures to the edges of possibility with the types of edibles that can be made in a waffle maker.
I was thinking about the book in the past weeks, because I’ve been having a similar obsession. Following my 1-ingredient lentil tortilla recipe, and subsequent split pea tortillas, I’ve been contemplating other varieties of legumes, with respect to one burning question: Will they Tortilla?
With nowhere to start but to start, I grabbed some dried black beans –a personal favorite– from the pantry and got them soaking. I blended, and I cooked, and my first attempt had promise. Several batches later, with tweaks to the proportions of water and the heat of the skillet, I have an answer for black beans: yes, they will tortilla!
These tortillas are very hearty and filling, and the flavor reminds me of blue corn tortillas. I have been loving them with an edamame-avocado-cilantro spread I concocted, topped with a bevy of vegetables and herbs from the garden.
Like their lentil predecessors, these tortillas are naturally:
At the same time, they are high in potassium (260 mg per tortilla!), and have good amounts of protein (3.5 grams per tortilla) and fiber (2.5 g per tortilla).
To make the tortillas, soak 1 cup of dried black beans in 2 cups water. You’ll need to plan ahead, as they will need to soak for at least 12 hours. Once soaked, drain and rinse the black beans; they will be glossy and plumped up to almost twice their volume.
Before you proceed with blending (drained, soaked beans + remaining 1-1/2 cups water + salt), I suggest you remove any relatives, roommates, etc. who are prone to teasing from the immediate vicinity. I neglected to do take this precaution. Hence, when I blended my first batch of beans, both my husband and son could not resist noting that the batter looks just like concrete!
But a concrete-like batter is exactly what you want, so ignore any teasing and doubts and keep blending, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender once or twice, until thick and completely smooth. I used a High speed blender to make the batter. It is possible to do this in a regular blender, but I suggest stopping multiple times to let the blender rest (so that it will not burn out). It will take longer with a regular blender, but keep going until the batter is very, very smooth.
Transfer the batter to a bowl (it’s easier to scoop for the bowl than from the blender). Your batter should look like this:
Time to cook the tortillas! As with the red lentil tortillas, I used a well-seasoned, cast-iron skillet for the cooking. If you do not use a nonstick pan, you will definitely need to add a spritz of nonstick spray or a swipe of oil before adding the batter.
Heat the skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add 1/3 cup of batter to the center of the pan (the recipe yields about 3 cups of batter). before spreading the batter, let it sit for 5 to 10 seconds; this allows some of the batter to adhere to the pan, making it easier to spread the remaining batter. Use the back of a metal spoon to spread the batter into a 6.5- to 7-inch circle.
Cook the tortilla for about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes until the surface of the tortilla appears dry. Try sliding a spatula underneath the tortilla; if it will not glide under with ease, keep cooking until it does. Once it does, flip the tortilla. Let the other side cook for another minute or so, to set the other side.
That’s it! Cool the tortillas on a wire rack and repeat with the remaining batter. If using a skillet (as opposed to a griddle) I recommend taking the skillet off of the heat source upon removing the tortilla, to prevent the skillet from becoming too hot.
Note that these tortillas are thicker than the red lentil tortillas, so they do not roll without breaking. However, they are flexible when they are warmed, so load them up for breakfast, lunch and dinner wraps.
Enjoy these hearty, delectable, nutritious tortillas, everyone! I can assure you, I will experiment with other legumes (and vegetables, too!), to create more grain-free tortillas, breads and flatbreads. Expect even more deliciousness in the days and weeks to come!
More Grain-Free & Vegan Tortillas to Love: