Roasted butternut, kale, black bean and goat cheese enchiladas with a roasted red pepper/pecan sauce

Kale and butternut enchiladas

Kale and butternut enchiladas

Here at The Ordinary we have an institute entirely devoted to the study of time passing. We had thought, up until a few months ago, that we were mere moments away from complete understanding. Lately, however, our grasp is slipping, we are perplexed. We are, in point of fact, reeling. Surely it was August, only yesterday, the boys were home all the long day, and our greatest concern was finding a place for them to swim? Surely these mornings that we wake up and it’s dark and cold, and before you know it, it’s dark and cold and dusky, with just the winking suggestion of a pale wintery day in between, surely these days are just a dream, or a memory. Surely it’s not the middle of December. Did we have autumn? Did we have glorious fall colors and crisp, clear days? If so, we didn’t notice, which breaks our heart, because, here at The Ordinary Institute for the Study of the Passing of Time, noticing is our business! It’s what we do. We study each passing, perfect, irreplaceable moment, and then we capture it, and we put it in a glass jar with a filmy lid of wax. We study it and label it. We used to store all the jars on shelves in a darkened room, so that you could see how they glow, but this year we’re giving them away for christmas, because everybody is gifting with ball jars this year! Just everybody. We’ve known for some time, of course, that time travels at different rates for different people depending on the time of day. It goes quickest in the morning, when you’re lying in a warm bed, with the sun struggling weakly to light up the cold day, and all of your chores and worries swirling around your head. This time of year it travels faster for an adult, who has so much to take care of before Christmas, than for a seven-year-old, because no matter how many times he asks, each and every day, how many days are left until Christmas, it’s always the same answer, each day, all day long. Sigh. Time is running and passing, and I can’t keep up, so here I am by the side of the tracks, holding my baggage by my feet, watching it rattle and whoosh as it crashes by.

You know the seasons are changing because I just composted the last of my CSA produce. They’ve been in the vegetable drawer for a few weeks now. They seemed very precious, because they were pretty golden and peppermint striped beets. I had something very special planned for them. But never quite special enough, so I kept waiting and waiting. Until they were unusable. I have fun keeping up with the CSA veg, but there’s something liberating about buying whatever sort of vegetables you please in the grocery store. I try to stay mostly seasonable, but, let’s face it…nothing is growing in NJ in winter. I try to keep with a wintery mix of butternut squash, cauliflower, greens, mushrooms, fennel, things like this. And then I combine them all in a big beautiful enchilada!! These enchiladas have a lot of flavors, but they all go very nicely together. It’s not as complicated to make as it might sound, because you can roast squash, boil kale, and make a sauce all at the same time. I used goat cheese inside the enchiladas, because I love the flavor with butternut squash, and because I thought it might make for a lighter texture than wads of melted cheddar or jack. There’s melted cheddar on top, though! Wouldn’t feel like enchiladas without some type of melty cheese! I apologize for the picture, I know it’s not one of the best, but it’s really hard to take an attractive picture of an enchilada!!

Here’s Tom Waits with Time. I think I’ve probably posted it before, but it’s just that good!


6 six inch wheat tortillas – warmed
1 – 2 cups grated sharp cheddar

THE FILLING
1 medium-sized bunch kale, washed, stems removed (about 4 packed cups)
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, diced into 1/3 inch pieces (2 or 3 cups)
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t each dried sage, rosemary and oregano
olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

THE SAUCE
2 T olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t each dried sage and rosemary
1 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 large red pepper, seeded, roasted, peeled and chopped (or 1 cup from a jar)
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1 t smoked paprika
pinch cinnamon
small handful kalamata olives
1 T butter
1 t balsamic

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the kale in, and cook for about ten minutes, till it’s bright and soft. Drain. When it’s cool enough to handle, chop it quite fine.

Meanwhile…preheat the oven to 425. Lightly coat the butternut squash pieces with olive oil, and spread them in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Cook for about twenty minutes, till they start to soften, turn brown and caramelize. Then toss in the beans, shallot, sage, rosemary, and oregano. Pierce the skin of the garlic clove and set it on the edge of the tray. Continue to roast for fifteen to twenty more minutes, till the squash is well-browned (but not burnt!) and the shallot has browned and caramelized.

In a large bowl, combine the beans, squash and kale. Mix well. Smush/chop the garlic and stir that in. Then crumble the goat cheese in and stir. You don’t want it to be too smoothly incorporated – pockets of cheesy flavor are nice. Season with salt and plenty of pepper.

While the squash is roasting you can make the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and stir and herbs, and stir and cook until the garlic starts to brown. Add the peppers, stir and cook, add the tomatoes and olives, and then the paprika and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer a few minutes, then add the butter and balsamic.

In a food processor or blender, process the pecans till quite finely ground. Add the pepper/tomato mixture, and continue to process till fairly smooth.

TO ASSEMBLE

Preheat the oven to 375. (or turn it down to that, if you’ve just been roasting squash.) In a small roasting pan, brownie pan, or other baking dish that’s around 7 X 10 or thereabouts, spread a thin layer of sauce. In your filling bowl, divide the filling into six parts. Place a tortilla in the pan, put about 1/6 of filling in, roll up the tortilla, and place it seam side down in the sauce. Repeat with the other tortillas. Line them up next to each other. Spoon the rest of the sauce over. Sprinkle the cheese over top. Bake for about 20 minutes, till the cheese is melted and bubbly.

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