A hint of Mexico or Peru leaps out of this delicious dish. With the combination of hot chipotle mellowed by cocoa and a creamy nut butter—the blend of flavours is superb. We’ve spooned the sauce over squash, but any root vegetable would honour it with equally delicious results. Top it up with what we’ve suggested, or jazz it up with diced fresh tomatoes, dollops of Mexican crema, and toasted pepitas.
Double up on the Smoky Rich Tomato Sauce recipe and freeze in smaller containers. It’s delicious served over pasta or rice.
1 kabocha squash, about 4 lbs (2 kg)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) coconut oil, melted
14 oz (398 mL) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 firm but ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
3 whole green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup (60 mL) thick plain yogurt
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro
Crushed dried chilies (optional)
Smoky Rich Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
14 oz (398 mL) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 dried dates, pitted
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced canned chipotle pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) tahini or cashew butter
2 tsp (10 mL) cocoa powder
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Cut squash in half, lengthwise, and scrape out seeds. Cut each half into 3 wedges. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush inside flesh with melted coconut oil. Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until squash is tender when pierced.
For tomato sauce, in medium-heavy saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until soft and clear. Do not brown. Add garlic and sauté for a minute. If saucepan is too dry, add a splash of water. Stir in tomatoes and their juice along with remaining sauce ingredients. Gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes for flavours to blend. Transfer to blender and purée until almost smooth but still a little chunky. Set aside. Cover to keep warm.
When squash is baked as you like, remove and place wedges on serving plates. Drizzle ladles of Smoky Rich Tomato Sauce overtop. Scatter with black beans, diced avocado, and green onions. Dollop with yogurt, a smattering of cilantro, and a pinch of chilies, if you wish.