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Monday, February 29, 2016

Winter Squash and Bean Dip

Generally we Americans like to dip our tortilla chips into tomato salsas or cheese sauces or a mixture of the two. Occasionally we like to dip into beans. Here's a recipe for a dip that includes beans but the star of the show is orange-fleshed winter squash. This dip is great for an appetizer, but is hearty enough to be a light meal.  


Winter Squash and Bean Dip

Source:  Autumn Gatherings:  Casual Food to Enjoy with Family and Friends by Rick Rodgers
Yield: about 4 cups

1 1/2 pds butternut squash (or banana, acorn, hubbard, etc.) peeled and cut into 1/2-in chunks
3 T olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
One 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes, drained (or if fresh tomatoes are good 2 cups chopped)
One 15- to 19-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (you can substitute black or kidney beans)
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-in dice
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F and set rack in the center. Oil a rimmed baking sheet.

Toss the diced squash with 1 T olive oil and arrange over the baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast until the squash is tender and lightly browned, approximately 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

Meanwhile, place the remaining oil into a large skillet and heat over medium-high on the stovetop. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until the onion is golden, stirring from time to time. Add the tomatoes, beans, zucchini, and cilantro and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini is crisp-tender. Stir in the roasted winter squash and pepitas and cook about 5 minutes. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper. 

Serve warm with chips. If you want to keep this warm, place in a small slow cooker.

The dip can be made ahead and kept refrigerated for 3 days. It can also be frozen for a month or so.

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