Butternut Squash & Bean Stew
This rustic dish has a slight sweetness from the squash, which is tempered by the beans' earthiness. Like most stews, it is better if made a day ahead to allow flavors to meld.
Wine pairing: A light non-tannic red should avoid any potential clash with the slightly sweet squash and will support the earthy beans. Try the 2010 Palmina Santa Barbara County Barbera
- 1.5 to 2 pounds butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 rib celery, cut into small dice, about 1/2 cup
- 1 medium carrot, cut into small dice, about 1/2 cup
- 1/2 small yellow onion, cut into small dice, about 1/2 cup
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons Amontillado Sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth + more if needed
- 1-15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Sherry vinegar to taste
- Grated or shaved Parmesan, to garnish
Place the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the over to 475.
Peel the squash and cut into medium dice-you should have about 4 cups. Place in a large bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread squash on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender and lightly browned. 25-35 minutes, turning over once with a spatula. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and onions, cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic, paprika and cumin, cook stirring, until the garlic becomes aromatic. Add the Sherry and cook, stirring, until nearly evaporated. Add the thyme and 2 cups of the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
When the squash is done, place 1 cup of the cooked squash [press it into the measuring cup] into a blender with 1/3-1/2 cup of the broth; puree.
Add the pureed and roasted squash and the beans to the vegetables; simmer 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a dash or two of vinegar and/or more broth, if desired.
Garnish with Parmesan and serve warms.