El Alma executive chef Alma Alcocer graced the pages of People magazine earlier this month with a recipe for her pumpkin and spinach tostadas, a dish that occasionally appears as a special at her Austin restaurant.
1 (1 1/2- to 2-lb.) pumpkin
1 tsp. chili powder
3 tablespoons thinly sliced pickled jalapenos
3 tablespoons pickled jalapeno liquid from jar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Fine sea salt
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
6 tostada shells
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
1/4 cup roasted salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
Fresh tomato salsa (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut stem from top of pumpkin; cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds and discard. Sprinkle flesh with chili powder, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes.
Whisk together jalapenos, jalapeno liquid, lime juice and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add cabbage; toss to coat.
Cut pumpkin halves into quarters, and cut away skin. Cut flesh into 1-inch cubes. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, and cook until heated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in spinach and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Divide pumpkin mixture evenly among shells; top each with cabbage mixture, queso fresco and pepitas. Serve with salsa, if desired.
– From El Alma executive chef Alma Alcocer