Some of my most vivid summer memories are those by the sea, whether it was in Terracina near Rome where our family had a villa by the beach very similar to the one shown above, or Elba Island, or Manzanillo, Mexico. And of course, the salt-laden breezes, the sun, and refreshing waves making their reach up the sandy beach, all encourage, stimulate and otherwise tantalize the appetite! Breakfast? Lunch overlooking this wondrous spectacle?
In our beach side resort in Mexico we would indulge in some simple, but delicious meals. Chilaquiles are great, but a little heavy. Here’s a light version: Take a few corn tortillas. Cut them in half, then in quarters. Fry them lightly in a tablespoon of canola oil. Drain on a paper towel. Chop half an onion, one tomato, a clove of garlic, add a sprinkle of oregano, and cook briefly in the same saucepan. Salt as needed. With a fork smash the mixture until smooth and cooked down. Add the fried tortillas to the mixture and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, add sour cream…put refried beans on the side!
If you don’t have time or energy, you can put together a fabulous breakfast or light lunch by making “molletes,” an open-faced sandwich. Lightly toast a bolillo or roll, or even a good slice of rustic french bread. Slather a smear of refried beans, add some white cheese (monterey jack, white cheddar, or fresh cotija). Place face down on a hot pan until the cheese begins to melt or soften. Overturn it quickly and sprinkle with pico de gallo (chopped onions, finely diced tomatoes, jalapenos and lime juice – close to Italian fare!!), top with sliced avocado (optional) – a dash of hot sauce if you like, and -voilà! a healthy meal in minutes.