Tuesday, February 2, 2010
One of the best things about living in California is the plentitude of local fruits and vegetables we can get pretty much all year round. In the summer time, the farmers market in my town is THE place to be. The stands are always stocked with tons of zucchinis, peppers, and tomatoes. The winter months are a bit quieter, but offer a whole different array of produce – colorful squashes, tons of leafy greens, and lots of citrus. As much as I enjoy the summer produce, I actually think I enjoy Winter's creations even more. Something about those squashes and greens is so hearty and satisfying, especially when they mingle together in a warm dish.
I usually make this tamale pie with zucchini and peppers, but this time I decided to try a variation: butternut squash and kale; and let me tell you: this is better than the summer version. A key component of the deliciousness of a tamale pie is the cornbread-like topping, but I could seriously eat just the filling and call it dinner, happily.
Butternut Squash and Kale Tamale Pie
*1 large butternut squash, peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes
*2 Tb olive oil
*1 large onion, diced
*4 cloves garlic, minced
*1 bunch kale, with large stems stripped and discarded, leaves chopped
*3 cups (or 2 15 oz. cans) cooked beans (pinto, black, kidney, I used pinto)
*1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
*1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
*1 tablespoon cumin
*2 teaspoons coriander
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*salt and pepper to taste
*1 1/2 cup cornmeal
*2 Tb flour
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*2 eggs, beaten
*1 cup buttermilk
*2 tablespoons melted butter
For the Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a baking pan. Add the squash and toss to coat. Roast the squash 35 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onions, and cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
3. Add the kale and cook for about 2-3 minutes until tender. Add the roasted squash and cook for about 3 minutes. Add beans and diced tomatoes. Stir in cumin, coriander, oregano, salt, and pepper. Heat for about 3 minutes.
4. Spread filling into lightly oiled 9x13 glass dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.
For the Topping:
1. Mix cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
3. Evenly spread the batter over the filling.
4. Bake 20 min or until top is lightly browned.