While road tripping to Texas I found myself at La Gloria in San Antonio. A restaurant that highlights Mexican street food, they serve tlayudas aka the king of Oaxacan street food and commonly aka Mexican Pizza. Tlayuda isn’t a pizza but a traditional Oaxacan street food, made by charring a handmade tortilla over a comal, smothering it with refried beans, piling it with cabbage, then topping it with garnishes from tomatoes and avocados to cecina.
But who has a comal? And, for the record, when you look at a tlayuda, it kinda resembles a pizza, no? Just swap a tortilla for pizza dough, refried beans for tomato sauce, Mexican cheese for Italian, and sprinkle on some fresh, uncooked toppings. La Gloria's tlayuda was totally traditional and did everything right but it just wasn't that exciting to me. So, having first tried it in TexMex country, I decided to mix it up CalMex style and make a Mexican pizza that's individual-sized, lightened, and summer-ified. At best this is barely reminiscent of a traditional tlayuda but after trying it, I think you'll agree that categorization is overrated.
trimmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
ends trimmed and thinly sliced
Heat oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush tortilas on both sides with a bit of the oil then toast until just golden brown, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add enough oil to a nonstick large skillet to coat the bottom then heat over medium-high heat.
When the oil shimmers, add the onion, stir, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, poblano, and zucchini and cook until poblano is soft and zucchini is golden brown, another 5 minutes.
Assemble the pizzas by putting a few spoonfuls of black beans on the bottom of the toasted tortillas. Add the zucchini mixture, top with a bit of crumbled cheese and place back in the oven until the tortillas are brown and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 10 minutes.
If desired, char the corn over an open flame or grill (you can have it raw too). Trim the corn kernels off the cob and, if using, top each pizza with a bit of the corn. Top with salsa, avocado, and some cilantro leaves and serve.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp