the taste space

Black Bean and Kabocha Squash Rancheros

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on April 30, 2012

Although it is still many, many moons away, if I am moving to Texas, I think I need to learn more about Mexican cuisine. While I have posted quite a few Mexican recipes, they are a tad nontraditional:

Tacos made with “BBQ jackfruit meat

Guacamole with pineapple and cucumber or edamame

Lime-spiked non refried black beans and quinoa in a kale wrap

Raw burritos which are collard wraps filled with jicama, sprouts and a nacho-cashew sauce

Or how about a raw taco filled with walnut meat, cashew sour cream and a cherry tomato salsa

Chickpea salad with a Mexican mango dressing

Moles with cranberry beans and roasted butternut squash or with tofu and tempeh

Mexican cabbage stirfry

What can I say, that’s what happens when I veer away from deep fried and cheese-heavy meals. At least I know how to pronounce mole (moh-lay).

Thoroughly thrilled with my hazelnut-roasted kabocha squash, I figured it would also be delicious with Isa’s Butternut Rancheros.

Glancing at the recipe, I could tell this was a going to be a dish with spicy tomato sauce smothering black beans, topped with hazelnut-infused caramelized roasted squash. But what makes this a rancheros? What is rancheros?

Turns out rancheros literally means Ranch-style. Huevos rancheros, a classic Mexican dish with a tortilla topped with an egg and tomato sauce means Ranch-style eggs.

So this, my friends, is Ranch-style squash!

A very simple recipe to prepare, basically you create a spicy silky-smooth cumin and coriander enhanced tomato sauce that coats black beans. The spiciness is juxtaposed beautifully against the sweet squash.  Isa’s recipes rarely disappoint although I still tinkered with it.

I roasted my kabocha with hazelnut oil instead of walnut oil. Olive oil would work, too, no worries. I substituted 2 green chiles for the jalapeno and increased the garlic to 6 cloves. It had a nice zing for my palate, but for those who love heat, definitely add more chile.

Any plans for Cinqo de Mayo this weekend?


This is my submission to this month’s My Kitchen, My World for Mexico and to this week’s Weekend Wellness .

Mexican Black Bean and Kabocha Squash Rancheros
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

1 lb kabocha squash (or butternut), washed and sliced into 2 cm wedges
1 tbsp hazelnut oil (or oil of your choice)

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1  small yellow onion, diced medium
2 green chiles, seeded, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp maple syrup or agave
2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if canned
2-3 green onions, chopped, for garnish

1. To roast the kabocha, preheat oven to 425F. Slice the kabocha into wedges approximately 1-2 cm at its thickest (no need to peel!). Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Evenly place on a silpat-lined baking tray (it just helps with the clean-up).

2. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Flip squash over and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until it can be easily pierced with a fork. Turn the heat up to broil. Place baking sheet under broil and cook for about 5 minutes. The squash should turn dark brown and start to caramelize in places. Some wedges may cook faster than others, so remove them sooner if necessary.  Set aside to cool.

3. Meanwhile, heat a medium, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds in the pan for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and a few shades darker. Do not let them burn.

4. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the oil and saute the onion for 5 minutes. Add the green chilies and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes, until the onions are browned. Carefully add the tomato sauce (it may sputter!), salt and agave and cook for about 5 minutes.

5. Transfer to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If using a blender, make sure to release the steam.

6. Return sauce to the pan and add beans. Cook over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.

7. To serve, use large shallow bowls.  Pour a layer of saucy beans in the bowl and top off with 2 or 3 slices of squash. Garnish with green onions.

Serves 4.

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16 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on April 30, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    I need to get my hands on some hazelnut oil! I bet it was a great addition with the kabocha squash.

    I’ll be at the Blend retreat for Cinco de Mayo. I’m sure we’ll track down something Mexican though!

  2. Flavors of the Sun said, on April 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    What an interesting recipe. I love the idea of the hazelnut oil. I can only image the depth of flavor that it must add to this dish. Texas is going to be a real eye-opener for you. Should be a great experience.

  3. Honeycrisp said, on April 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Loved this when we made it last month! So tasty!

  4. Eileen said, on April 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I love squash but never get around to eating it somehow–this bean and squash combination sounds like a perfect way to do so!

    (People do things for Cinco de Mayo?)

  5. Joanne said, on April 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    I had absolutely no plans for this weekend until you posted this! I hope I can find kabocha…it’s been hard to spot these past few weeks.

  6. Food For Beauty said, on May 1, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! Maybe make some raw tacos with walnut meat !
    Nicole <3

  7. Amber said, on May 4, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Hi There Janet,

    This is such a gorgeous dish! I adore kabocha – it’s my favorite squash. And your beans…drool. Your combination of flavors and textures here is super. I’ll have to check out that Post Punk Kitchen. :-)

    Pinning this recipe!

    Be Well,
    –Amber

  8. Ella @ Lifeologia said, on May 4, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    What a great satisfying meal! Love the combination of beans and kabocha!
    Would love it if you shared it at my Potluck Party

    http://www.lifeologia.com/potluck-party-protein-rich-vegan-recipes/

  9. […] if it means lots of citrus juice (lime!). And well, beans, oh yes. I have used black beans in many Mexican dishes, but I was intrigued by Bittman’s suggestion to mash them, spice them (lots of […]

  10. letsgetupandlive said, on September 10, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Such an awesome make-myself-feel-special meal for its fancy looks alone! I have this heating up on the stove as I type and obviously had a lot of tastes so I can already say it’s great. Despite several small subs/changes I made to suit my needs and ingredients on hand it’s delish. Thanks for sharing, Janet!

  11. […] the next day [which actually happened to be yesterday] and spontaneously decided to have these Kabocha Squash Rancheros I’d been eyeing for a while. Or better yet: a modified version suiting the ingredients I had […]

  12. […] Lentil Salad Wraps  Black Bean and Kabocha Squash Rancheros Roasted Beet Salad with Warm Maple Mustard Dressing and Tempeh Croutons White Bean, Quinoa and Kale […]


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