For another one of our quick meals this past week we were fortunate to a have an unintended convergence of three ingredients:
- At the prior week’s market, we had purchased some (actually too much) lovely Hubbard squash from Northshire Farm, and we needed to use it or lose it.
- At this week’s greenmarket, we were fortunate to find leafy greens, including spinach, being sold by Norwich Meadows. That’s completely out of season, but when we asked them about they said that they had not suffered the same weather we had recently (they are in far western New York State) and that some of the heartier greens had pushed through recently and flourished due to favorable weather. We were craving greens, so we were feeling very receptive to that answer.
- We still had a bunch of pre-cooked black beans in the freezer from when we made our Super Bowl dip.
Roasted Squash and Black Bean Salad
|Amount||Ingredient||Preparation||Where we bought it
(* Union Sq. Greenmarket)
|~1||Large squash (ours was a Hubbard)||Cubed using the pineapple method (see steps 1-5 here)||Northshire Farm *|
|1||Large red onion||Chopped||Paffenroth Gardens *|
|1 “can”||Black beans||Click here for how to cook and measure that using dried beans||Cayuga Pure Organics *|
|As desired||Spinach||Norwich Meadows Farm *|
|3||Fresh or slightly dried chili pepers||Gutted and diced||Northshire Farm *|
|1 clove||Garlic||Peeled||Keith’s Farm *|
|2 TBsp||Lime juice||~Juice of 2 limes|
|3 – 4 TBsp||Parsley or cilantro||Chopped to measure||We froze it so long ago we don’t remember|
|1/2 cup||Olive oil||Divided into 2 TBsp and remainder|
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Chop the onion and the squash (using the pineapple method outline in steps 1-5 here).
- Spread the pieces of squash and onion over a sheet pan, drizzle with 2 TBsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss it with your hands. Spread the mix out into a single layer on the pan.
- Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, until the corners of the squash pieces begin to brown. Check on it occasionally and shift the pieces around so that none burn.
- Cut the stem off the chili peppers, then cut them in half the long way. Use a small spoon to scoop out all of the seeds and scrape out the inside layer of flesh. This will remove most of the heat while leaving the flavor. Chop the gutted chilis into little pieces. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this process. At the very least be sure to wash your hands very thoroughly afterwards. I have, on a number of occasions, rubbed my eyes 4 hours later, resulting in excruciating optical pain.
- Put the garlic clove, lime juice, remaining olive oil, parsley/cilantro, and some salt and pepper into a food processor (or a blender in a pinch). Blend / process the ingredients together into a dressing. If desired, you can add the chilis to this or sprinkle them over the salad at the end, which is helpful if not everyone likes chilis.
- Wash the spinach, dry it (or spin it in a salad spinner), and if the leaves are large, tear it into pieces.
- When the squash is done roasting, in a large bowl combine and toss the roasted squash mix, spinach, dressing, and beans. Optionally, you can first warm the beans for a minute in the microwave.