Mexican brunch

Perfect for a casual brunch, Allegra McEvedy's fiery Mexican recipes can be doubled up to serve for a lunch or supper party
By Allegra McEvedy
Mexican brunch
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium


For the red pepper salsa

  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 red chilli, or 1 habanero if you can find it
  • 500 g ripe tomatoes
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • large handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 limes, juice only
  • sprinkle smoked paprika, (optional)

For the refried beans

  • 200 g onions, chopped
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 birds eye chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • handful coriander stalks, about 20g, chopped
  • 265 g black beans, from a tin, drained weight, liquid reserved - you need 140ml of the liquid, top up with water if necessary
  • handful toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 50 g feta cheese

For the Oaxaca juice

  • 3 green eating apples, cored and chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, with leaves if possible
  • handful spinach leaves
  • few sprigs mint
  • handful flat leaf parsley

For assembly

  • 3 big handfuls tortilla chips
  • 200 g ricotta cheese, or queso fresco if you can find it
  • 2 eggs
  • knob butter
  • pinch dried crushed chillies
  • handful fresh coriander, chopped

Tips and Suggestions

If you have a gas stove, try roasting the peppers directly over an open flame on the stovetop. Don't be overly concerned that the skins look very charred. The outer skin may look burnt but the flesh beneath will be succulent and keep its usual colour.

Make sure that your kitchen is well ventilated, especially if you're charring peppers directly over an open flame.


1. For the spicy red salsa: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Char the skins of the pepper, chillies and tomatoes in any of the following ways: on a barbecue or a griddle on a high flame, or cut everything in half and do them under the grill. Keep turning until most of the skin is blackened and blistered, then remove and refrigerate until cool. Roughly peel the pepper, chillies and tomatoes, leaving on a little bit of charred skin and keeping the seeds in the chillies. Give the peppers a quick squeeze to get rid of some of the liquid, blend them with the chillies and tomatoes in a food processor, then pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the spring onion, coriander, garlic and lime juice. Season well with salt and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, if desired.

2. Using a small ovenproof dish, about 20cm round and 6cm deep, cover the bottom with about a third of the tortilla chips, then cover that with about a third of the red pepper salsa, then about a third of the ricotta. Repeat twice, not worrying about making perfect layers, just aiming to distribute the ingredients quite roughly. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake for 10 minutes.

3. For the refried beans: fry the onions in the oil and butter in a frying pan, then once theyve softened stir in the garlic, chilli, coriander seeds and coriander. Continue to fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the beans with the 140ml liquid from the tin. Bring to a simmer, season well then turn the heat right down. Allow it to keep bubbling, making sure it doesnt catch on the bottom, until its become a very thick purée. Mash slightly before serving and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with a few pumpkin seeds and the crumbled feta, then a drizzle of olive oil.

4. For the Oaxaca juice: blend all the ingredients in a juicer, then pour into glasses over ice to serve.

5. To assemble: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Fry the eggs in butter then lay them on top of the salsa dish and sprinkle with a little crushed chillies. Scatter on the chopped coriander and finish with a bit of sea salt and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with the refried beans and Oaxaca juice.

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