The Grand Central Market was a food hall before food halls were trendy. A well-balanced combination of LA’s favorite ethnic cuisines, the Market feeds a diverse crowd of hungry culinary enthusiasts every day. Thousands flock to this lunch and dinner mecca, driven by the vibrant flavors of a city with every kind of food imaginable, like these spinach and cheese pupusas.

Sarah Clark, the chef behind Sarita’s Pupuseria, built her business by adapting the traditional pupusa — a stuffed, griddled masa cake from her home country, El Salvador — to suit Angeleno tastes. In particular, she spotlighted vegetable pupusas filled with broccoli and spinach, which is a good tip-off that the basic pupusa technique described in this recipe is easy and adaptable to many different fillings and flavors. You could replace the spinach with kale, for instance, or very thinly sliced rounds of zucchini. Or you could dream up entirely new — and entirely untraditional — fillings, such as roasted red peppers with feta, or grilled eggplant with mozzarella, or a handful of chopped herbs with goat cheese. Another bestseller at Sarita’s swaps out the spinach for ¼ pound of raw, chopped shrimp.

Curdito, a tangy, spicy slaw, is the standard side dish with any pupusa. The skill and artistry of pupusas lies in wrapping a generous filling within an evenly thin, supple masa envelope. If the masa is too thick, especially around the edges, the dough won’t cook all the way through. Too thin, and the filling spills out. It takes practice to get right, but masa is inexpensive, and even the mistakes taste good.

Reprinted with permission from The Grand Central Market Cookbook