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In the Kitchen With Ricky: Fall is in full swing with pumpkin tostadas

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 25, 2021

By Ricky Webster For The Spokesman-Review

Tostadas are typically corn-based and eaten as a fried or toasted tortilla alongside soups and stews, ceviches and as a standalone, open-faced dish. We are focusing on the latter today for this local produce-driven fall recipe.

Right now, you will find hard winter squash everywhere – from Green Bluff and farmers markets to the grocery store. Those big bins that sit in the produce aisle, filled to the brim with oddly shaped and various colored squashes, make for some delicious ingredients.

I call these pumpkin tostadas, but really you can use any hard winter squash in your preparation. I usually take leftover or slightly staled corn tortillas and fry them in canola oil until crisp, but tostada shells are sold in the grocery store and located in the tortilla section.

This makes for a quick-and-easy meal. It is wonderful served as is or with a side cup of soup and rice and beans, as well.

Fall Pumpkin Tostadas

6 radishes, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons apple cider or wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

¼ cup olive oil

2 large poblano chilies, stemmed and seeded, thinly sliced

2 small white onions, thinly sliced

2 pounds pumpkin (Sugar Pie, Kabocha or Kuri Squash) peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 ½ cups)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, plus small leaves for garnishing

Tostada shells, either homemade or store bought

Serve with sour cream, cotija cheese and sliced jalapenos

Toss the radishes with vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt; let stand.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add chilies and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.

Then add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the squash and season with two large pinches of kosher salt and a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Stir in the oregano and add ⅔ cup water.

Cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender and almost all liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes.

Spread the tostada shells with sour cream. Top with the squash mixture and pickled radishes. Drizzle with some of the pickling liquid. Sprinkle with the cheese, oregano leaves and jalapenos (if using); serve.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Local award-winning chef and Rind and Wheat owner Ricky Webster can be reached at ricky@rindandwheat.com. Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.

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