What we love about tortas—traditional Mexican sandwiches layered in split rolls—is the element of surprise. No matter how many tortas we eat, if you grew up with baloney on white bread and PB&J’s there’s always a thrill in finding a layer of refried beans, crumbled queso fresco, or salsa in a sandwich. In this vegetarian version, we’ve included zucchini, salted to remove some of its moisture, coated in panko breadcrumbs, and fried—the best surprise ever.
What to buy: Traditional tortas are made with either crusty rolls called bolillos or softer buns called teleras, available in markets with a good selection of Latin American foods. We’ve found that brioche or soft sandwich buns make fine substitutes.