This recipe, adapted from Denis Cotter’s cookbook Wild Garlic, Gooseberries, and Me, is one that I have returned to every fall and winter for many years. Because of the chocolate and the almonds, it has a mole-like richness that I really love. It cooks for a long time, so will help warm up the house and makes for a great Sunday evening dinner when you’re doing things arounf the house. It also keeps really well and scales easily, so it’s a nice one to make in big batches and eat throughout the week. I like it with tortillas or even a quesadilla, but have also enjoyed it with rice. Pickled peppers or onions, chopped cilantro, scallions, and sour cream are all awesome on top.
1 can pinto beans
About 1 1/2 cups winter squash
A few glugs of olive oil
4 - 5 big leaves of kale (3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter (or more olive oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 - 4 red jalapeno chiles, halved, seeded, and chopped (you can also use green ones or another red chili, or leave it out if you aren’t into spicy stuff)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes (I like the the Muir Glen fire roasted ones)
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ounce of almonds, dark roasted and finely ground
About half of a 70% dark chocolate bar (about 1.5 ounces), broken into pieces
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut the squash into chunks, about 3/4-inch squares. You probably want to peel the squash unless it’s a thin-skinned variety like delicata. Put the squash in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the squash in the oven for about 20 minutes until caramelized on the outside but still firm. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°. (If you’d rather, you can cook to squash on the stove to a similar state.)
Cut the kale into thick slices, without bothering to remove the stem. Melt the butter (or heat the oil) into an oven-proof casserole dish or cast iron skillet and fry the onion with the chiles over a low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized. Add the garlic and fry for three minutes more. Add the tomatoes and paprika, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the ground almonds, chocolate, squash, beans, kale, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Cover the pan and put it in the oven to cook for 2 hours.