I've never had acorn squash, but they looked so cute in the market that I bought one. I figured that I would want something somewhat light after Thanksgiving and decided to make a squash dish with some kind of beans as a one-pot meal.
I'm not calling this a chili, because it would be too much like the butternut squash chili I made a couple of years ago. Unlike that recipe, I went ahead and soaked the beans first. I was trying to get rid of the black water the beans give off, but more came off into the broth when I cooked it. Also to be different, I seasoned it with savory herbs instead of spices, and topped it with queso fresco right before serving.
Beware, this is a very high fiber dish. It's fine for anyone as a side, but don't make it a main course like I did unless you can handle it. Most Americans don't have enough fiber in their diet to manage something like this without discomfort. For the day after Thanksgiving, it was a wonderful change from the heavy dishes slathered in fatty sauce.
*1 C dry black beans
1 acorn squash (about 2 lbs whole)
*1/2 C diced onion
*1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tb olive oil
*2 C vegetable or chicken broth
*1/2 tsp dried oregano
*1/2 tsp dried sage
*1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper as needed
4 oz crumbly cheese such as feta, chevre, or queso fresco
1. 2 to 4 hours before starting, rinse beans and soak in water. When ready to start, drain and rinse again.
2. In a larger saucepan than I used (make it a big one), heat 1 Tb oil over medium. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about another minute. Add broth, beans, oregano, sage, and cumin. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cover. Allow to cook 1 hour while you go make the squash.
4. If squash is mostly cooked, the skin should peel right off. Cut flesh into 1" cubes and add to pot. This was when I realized my pot was too small. Continue to simmer another 15 minutes to finish cooking the squash. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary, but keep in mind that whatever cheese you're using as a garnish is probably salty. Ladle into bowls while hot. Top with crumbled cheese and serve.
Difficulty rating :)