Friday, 7 September 2012

Buttercup Squash Tostadas

Pity the poor buttercup squash.  Always the ugly step sister to the ever popular butternut squash, it is often overlooked and used far less in recipes.  I happen to love the buttercup variety for its dense, creamy like texture.  It's usually priced less than the butternut variety and stores much longer into fall.  I know, I just said fall.  Guess what?  Fall is just around the corner and some of these cooler days have me starting to crave those fall flavours.  These tostadas are not quite full on cold weather fare.  In fact, they have enough fresh ingredients to make for a late summertime patio meal.

Tostadas, tacos and burritos are a favourite meal at our place.  Usually set up as a self serve buffet, it allows each family member to choose which toppings they like and which vessel they want to fill.  I topped my buttercup ones with black beans, queso fresco cheese, some tomatillo salsa, fresh cilantro, diced red pepper and avocado. 

My kids' favourite tostadas are a crunchy corn tortilla all ready to be loaded up, that resemble a very large round nacho chip. No wonder they like them!  If you can't find these, you could use a fresh corn or wheat tortilla and either fill it up burrito style or first bake it in the oven to crisp it up.  Don always eats his rolled up, but I prefer an open face crunch anytime.


 Buttercup Squash Tostadas

1 buttercup squash, quartered
1 tomato chopped
1 onion chopped
olive oil
1 lime juiced (about 1/4cup)
1 hot pepper, minced
2 tsp salt
1 cup black beans  rinsed and drained from can
1 cup crumbled/grated cheese (I used queso fresco)
8-10 tostadas (or corn/wheat tortillas) see notes above
optional toppings
avocado
salsa of your choice
sour cream
cilantro
red pepper diced
Place buttercup squash in a large pot of boiling water for about 10min.  Drain and allow to cool enough to remove seeds and peel.  Chop squash and reserve.
In a cast iron frying pan, saut√© onion in olive oil on medium heat until softened (about 8min).  Add squash, tomatoes, salt, lime juice and hot pepper. Stir all ingredients together and then cover on medium heat for about 5min.  Stirring as needed, continue cooking for about 10min, until warmed through.  If the mixture sticks, you can add small amounts of water to release from pan.  This mixture can be made up to one day in advance.  Reheat gently to assemble tostadas. 
Preheat broiler in oven to high.
Place about 1/4 cup of squash mixture on each tostada.  Sprinkle on top beans and cheese.  Place tostadas under broiler for approx 5min, until cheese is bubbly and melted.  Remove from oven and top with salsa, avocado, sour cream, cilantro and red pepper.  Enjoy!


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