Spicy Elote-Style Vegetable Tostadas with Summer Squash, Poblano Pepper, & Cilantro Rice

Spicy Elote-Style Vegetable Tostadas

with Summer Squash, Poblano Pepper, & Cilantro Rice

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Elote is a beloved Mexican street food of corn on the cob rubbed with a flavorful mix of cheese, lime juice, chile powder, and more. Instead of the traditional corn, this recipe uses a trio of poblano pepper, red onion, and summer squash (yours may be green or grey zucchini, or yellow squash). We’re layering the creamy, spicy vegetables over cilantro-lime rice—all served on oven-crisped corn tortillas, the perfect handheld base for these vibrant ingredients.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    740 Cals (est.)
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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Medium dice the squash. Peel and medium dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs, and seeds of the pepper; medium dice. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling the pepper.

Cook the rice:
2 Cook the rice:

In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Stir in the lime zest, half the cilantro, and the juice of 2 lime wedges. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the squash:
3 Cook the squash:

While the rice cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the squash and cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

Toast the tortillas:
4 Toast the tortillas:

While the squash cooks, place the tortillas on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Toast in the oven, flipping halfway through, 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven.

Cook the vegetables:
5 Cook the vegetables:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and as much of the chile powder as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil.) Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Transfer to the bowl of cooked squash.

Finish the vegetables & plate your dish:
6 Finish the vegetables & plate your dish:

To the bowl of cooked vegetables, add the mayonnaise and the juice of the remaining lime wedges. Stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the toasted tortillas between 2 dishes; top with the cooked rice and finished vegetables. Garnish with the cheese and remaining cilantro. Enjoy!

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Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and stems. Medium dice the squash. Peel and medium dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs, and seeds of the pepper; medium dice. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling the pepper.

2 Cook the rice:

In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Stir in the lime zest, half the cilantro, and the juice of 2 lime wedges. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the rice:
Cook the squash:
3 Cook the squash:

While the rice cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the squash and cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

4 Toast the tortillas:

While the squash cooks, place the tortillas on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Toast in the oven, flipping halfway through, 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven.

Toast the tortillas:
Cook the vegetables:
5 Cook the vegetables:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and as much of the chile powder as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil.) Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Transfer to the bowl of cooked squash.

6 Finish the vegetables & plate your dish:

To the bowl of cooked vegetables, add the mayonnaise and the juice of the remaining lime wedges. Stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the toasted tortillas between 2 dishes; top with the cooked rice and finished vegetables. Garnish with the cheese and remaining cilantro. Enjoy!

Finish the vegetables & plate your dish:
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