Thursday, November 10, 2011

Squash Saute with Chickpeas and Cilantro

Let's say you picked up a ton of Mexican squash at the grocery store, and then your friends who were going out of town unloaded still more squash from their CSA box.  What to do?  I started thinking about sort of Southwestern flavors because I saw this recipe for squash and beans but ended up going in a different direction than that recipe.

Basically, I prepared these squashes the way I might do black beans, and then I added some chickpeas for protein.  But squash has so much water in it that the dish turned out a little bland and diffuse.  I added a bit of cornstarch to thicken the dish, but what was really missing was a creamier/yeastier/nuttier flavor that black beans would have contributed themselves.  I ended up amping up my leftovers with chili-garlic paste. 

Squash Saute with Chickpeas and Cilantro

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp cumin
red pepper flakes to taste
4 small Mexican squashes, or 2-3 zucchinis
1 can chickpeas
1/2 can diced tomatoes
oregano to taste
salt to taste
1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with a bit of cold water (optional)
lime juice to taste
chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Saute onion several minutes, then add garlic and spices.  After a few minutes, add squash as well and saute until the squash is slightly soft.  Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, oregano, and salt, and simmer about 5 minutes.  Thicken with cornstarch if desired, then remove from heat.  Stir in lime juice and cilantro, and adjust salt and chili to taste.  Serves about 3.

It rained.  Then it stopped.  Then the sun set.

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