Soft tacos with butternut squash + black beans
Darcy ran the Philadelphia Marathon today and was craving a hearty fall dinner. So we had black beans seasoned with cumin and miso and tacos filled with herbed squash. I like to pick up my tacos — that means easy on the filling and beans on the side. I never made beans from scratch until trying the quick soak method in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Now I make a pot of beans most Sundays to have in different dishes during the week.
1 lb butternut squash, unpeeled and cut into ‘smiles’ of uniform thickness
1T agave or brown sugar
1T white balsamic vinegar
1t olive oil
salt + pepper
.5 cup dried black beans (or 1.25 cup cooked black beans)
1 small yellow onion
4 small corn tortillas
.5 cup Greek yoghurt
beans (if cooking from scratch)
This method is straight-up Bittman. Rinse the beans in a colander and dump in a soup pot. Cover with a few inches of cold water and turn flame to high, with pot uncovered. Once water reaches rolling boil, let beans cook for only a few minutes, turn off and cover. After an hour or two, bring beans back to rolling boil and then simmer, partially covered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure beans do not stick to bottom of pot, and add boiling water (from a kettle) if water in pot cooks down. Once beans are about three-quarters done (ie, getting tender but still a little too al dente), add salt and a few dashes white vinegar, and cook about another 20 minutes.
Mix agave, vinegar and olive oil in a large container with cover that seals tightly. Add squash, cover and shake to coat. Lay on a foil sheet sprayed w canola and top squash with salt, pepper, oregano and smoked paprika. Roast for 45-60 minutes, flipping squash (and seasoning other side) and rotating sheet after about 25 minutes. When done, remove squash and lower oven to 250. When squash is cool enough to handle, peel and cut into chunks. Return to cookie sheet and leave in oven to stay warm.
Warm beans in a small sauce pan. Season with 1T cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
Wrap tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for about 60 seconds. Put two tortillas on each of two small plates. Top with chunks of squash, a dollop of yoghurt and salsa to taste. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serve with a small bowl of beans on the side (miso stirred into beans is delicious).