Prep Time: 30 min
Yield: 2 servings
When charcuterie king Grant van Gameren announced that he was opening a vegan Mexican restaurant, Toronto sat up and took notice. Rosalinda, found in the ever-buzzier Financial District, does plant-based fare that doesn’t skimp on flavour.
Patrons tuck into bites made for sharing — think beet tartare, chilaquiles verdes and root veg with mole almendrado — in a dreamy light and plant filled space reminiscent of a rather posh greenhouse. Chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo, who can be found fulltime at Quetzal, put together the menu, while chef de cuisine Matthew Ravenscroft helms the kitchen.
Here’s how to re-create Rosalinda’s almond mole — a sauce that boasts both heat and depth with a dash of sweet. The most famed of the Mexican moles is mole poblano, which hails from the state of Puebla and boasts chiles in addition to chocolate. While it’s oft found paired with stewed meats, at Rosalinda the mole is partnered with roasted root veg, transforming a simple dish into something spectacular. Think carrots, celery root, sweet potato, squash, yucca and so on.
Chef Ravenscroft serves the mole underneath the root veg and then will garnish with a little something. “In this case I would do almonds just to add that extra bit of a crunch — maybe some chopped herbs for a nice brightness,” he says.
While moles are known for being time-consuming sauces requiring a full checklist of ingredients (think 30 or so), this version is far more achievable for the average home cook.
- 6 dried ancho chiles
- 6 dried cascabel chiles (use fewer for a less-spicy sauce)
- 3 dried guajillo chiles
- 3 ¾ cups water
- 2 Roma tomatoes, halved
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ onion
- 4 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons raw almonds, toasted
- 3 tablespoons sesame, toasted
- 2 tortillas, toasted
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch oregano
- Pinch paprika
- Sea salt
- Remove stems from chiles. Any seeds that come out are fine, but not every seed needs to be removed. Place in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, remove from heat and let steep. Do not dump chile water; save for later.
- Set oven to broil (500F+), place tomatoes, onion and garlic on sheet tray and place in oven until fully charred. Burn them more than you may think.
- Separately toast the almonds, sesame seeds and tortillas in a pan over medium heat.
- Combine chiles, charred vegetables and all ingredients — except the water — into a blender and blend on high. Then add some — but not all — of the chile-steeping water bit by bit, blending until the desired consistency is achieved. The mole should be smooth but not watery.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pass through a fine sieve.
- Serve underneath roasted root vegetables.