Bean & Butternut Tacos with Green Salsa

  • Cook 1h 15 m
  • Ready In 1 h 15 m

“Beans and roasted butternut squash make an outstanding vegetarian taco filling. For the best flavor, use fresh, good-quality chili powder and Mexican oregano. Look for both at Latin markets or in the bulk spice section at well-stocked natural-foods stores.”

Ingredients

  • Salsa
  • 8 ounces tomatillos
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ cup sliced white onion
  • ½ ripe avocado, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Tacos
  • 4 cups diced ( ½-inch) peeled butternut squash
  • 3-4 small dried red chiles

Directions

To prepare salsa: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cook the tomatillos in the boiling water until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Toast garlic cloves, jalapeno and onion in a dry medium skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned, fragrant and soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic. Remove the jalapeno stem and remove seeds if desired. Combine the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, onion and avocado in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Stir in cilantro, salt and pepper. Set aside for topping the tacos.

Toprepare tacos: Preheat oven to 400°F.

Put squash in a medium bowl and, using kitchen shears, finely snip chillis to taste into small pieces (seeds and all) into the bowl. Add garlic, oil, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt and whole cumin seeds; toss to coat. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until soft and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Peel and finely chop the garlic when cool enough to handle; stir into the squash.

Meanwhile, combine beans in a small saucepan with the remaining ¼ teaspoon oregano and ¼ teaspoon salt, ground cumin, chili powder and pepper. Heat over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.

Warm tortillas one at a time in a dry large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium heat until soft and pliable. Wrap in a clean towel to keep warm as you go. Spoon ¼ cup of the warm beans into each tortilla; divide the roasted squash evenly among the tacos and top each with cilantro, cabbage, ½ cup of the salsa and cheese. (Refrigerate the remaining ½ cup salsa for up to 2 days.)

  • Make Ahead Tip: The salsa can be prepared ahead (Step 1-3). Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.
  • Ingredient Note: Queso fresco, also known as queso blanco, is a soft, slightly salty fresh Mexican cheese. You can find it in Latin markets and many supermarkets.
  • Tip: ?How to Cook a Pot of Beans
  • Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours. 2. When you’re ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1½ teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the li
  • Makes about 6 cups.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

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