Jamie’s Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, and Black Bean Quesadillas with Homemade Guacamole

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Note: you can simplify this recipe (and cut way down on cooking time) by leaving out the butternut squash and kale, and using store-bought guacamole (or omitting it).  You can also use sweet potato instead of the squash, and microwave it if you are in a hurry!  Simply poke a few holes in the sweet potato, wrap it in a damp paper towel, and microwave for ~5 minutes, then check to see if it’s soft (but still slightly firm; you want to be able to chop it into cubes).

Unless you’re making quesadillas for a large family, you won’t use all the butternut squash.  It will keep in a Tupperware container in the fridge for about a week.  Use it for risotto, coconut curry soup, or even lasagna!

For the Quesadillas:

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 1/3 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 butternut squash (or sweet potato)
  • A handful of Daiya Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Earth Balance
  • Salt and pepper

Roasting the squash and preparing the kale:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Carefully slice your squash in half and scoop out the seeds and guts with a spoon.  Peel both halves and chop off the top and bottom.  Slice into 1-2 inch chunks.  Add the chunks to a large casserole dish or roasting pan.  Drizzle a heavy dose of olive oil over squash, mix well with your hands, then douse with salt and pepper.

Roast the squash uncovered for about 40 minutes or until tender.

While the squash is roasting, wash and chop the kale into small strips.  Put about ¼ cup water in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the kale, cover, and steam for several minutes.

While the kale is steaming, begin preparing the guacamole.  Don’t forget to check the kale often, making sure to add more water if the water has evaporated.  Add a little bit at a time so you don’t end up with wet kale.

One the kale is soft (and all the water has evaporated), reduce heat to medium and add about 1 tablespoon olive oil, then throw in the garlic.  Cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once the squash is tender, remove it from the oven and set aside.

Re-heat the skillet to medium and add 1 teaspoon Earth Balance.  Put your whole wheat tortilla in the skillet and move it around to coat the pan with the Earth Balance.  Top the tortilla on one side with Daiya cheese, then kale, black beans, and butternut squash cubes,  then more cheese (you want the cheese to be closest to the pan so it melts).

Fold the tortilla over and cook for 2-3 minutes until the underside is brown.  Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn your tortilla, and reduce heat if necessary.

Meanwhile, finish preparing the guacamole.  When the tortilla is browned on both sides and your cheese has melted, remove from heat, put on a plate, and use a pizza cutter to slice into three pieces.

For the Guacamole:

  • 1 ripe avocado (brown and slightly soft to the touch)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I usually use two, but I am obsessed with raw garlic.  If you don’t like the taste of raw garlic, use ½ clove)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Fresh salsa (I recommend Weaver Street’s “Simply Salsa”)
  • Salt and pepper

Add a generous pinch of salt to a mortar (I use my Vasconia Molcajete) then add garlic and grind into a paste.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, sprinkle some salt on your cutting board and use the flat edge of your knife to grind the garlic into a paste.  The salt is crucial as it helps cut up the garlic.

Cut the avocado (like this!) and spoon it into the mortar (or a bowl).  Mash it up with the pestle or a spoon.  Add lemon juice, several heaping spoonfuls of salsa, plenty of salt, and a little pepper to taste.

Serve alongside your quesadillas!

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