This one screams fall: sweet, tender acorn squash, earthy and robust black beans, all topped off with a squeeze of lime and a decidedly perky pesto made from crisp poblanos and fragrant cilantro.
The beans cook in about the same amount of time it takes to roast the squash, so all you have to do is blend up the pesto while those two cook away. Not quick, but easy. Or, since dried beans can be unpredictable in their cooking time, feel free to cook the beans in advance on a day you're doing other things around the house. Having beans ready to go is always a good move, anyway.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Poblano-Cilantro Pesto over Black Beans
For the black beans:
1 lb dried black beans, soaked 8 hours, drained and rinsed well
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf
4 cups water, divided
1 TBSP ground dark roast coffee
3/4 tsp fine sea or kosher salt
1/4 cup chickpea flour
For the acorn squash:
1 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tsp oil
salt and pepper
For the pesto:
2 small poblanos (or 1 large), seeded, veined, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
2 tsp red miso
1/4 cup raw pepitas
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more, if needed
1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat oven to 400.
To prepare the beans, heat over high heat in a covered pot the drained, soaked beans, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaf with 3 cups water. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 cup water in a kettle and add ground coffee to a french press. Steep 5 minutes and add coffee to bean pot (discard grounds). (Alternately, brew 1 cup weak coffee in a drip machine and add to pot.) Reduce heat to the low end of medium-low, cock lid, and cook until tender, about an hour, or as needed, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.
Add squash cut-side up to a small pan and roast until just tender, 30-40 minutes.
While the squash and beans cook, puree all pesto ingredients until smooth. Thin with additional oil, if desired.
Remove squash from oven, carefully cut into 3/4-inch slices. Heat the broiler, sprinkle salt and pepper over the squash slices, and return to the oven 8 inches from the heat source. Cook until tender and browned at the edges, about 10 minutes.
When the beans are tender, add 3/4 tsp salt. Spoon out 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and whisk in chickpea flour. Increase pot heat to medium-low. Once simmering strongly, stir the chickpea slurry into the pot and let cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Spoon beans into a wide, shallow bowl, place a squash ring over them, squeeze the juice of a lime wedge over it all, and top with pesto.