In an attempt to be more frugal, slightly vegan, and diversify my ‘versatile-as-ever’ recipe repertoire, I’ve looked to bean salads that can be dressed up or down, mashed and spread onto toast, or my favorite, piled high and wrapped up tight in a lettuce or cabbage wrap as the ultimate vegan veggie vehicle for a satisfying meal.
This recipe got its roots from Alexandra Stafford’s Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Black Beans, which I’ve made and love. I decided to try roasting the beans in the oven with the vegetables to make it a one-pan meal that, in theory, could be prepped alongside of another dish to multitask and make preparation for a week’s worth of lunches (or dinner!) all the easier.
I usually roast a whole pumpkin or two, break it down, and save it in Ziploc bags in the freezer, taking one bag out at a time to use during the week. To crisp up the edges of the pumpkin, I always re-heat it in the oven, giving it the twice-baked treatment, and I’ve found that a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg, combined with a savory flavor, like onion or garlic, brings out the flavor of the pumpkin, the warmth of fall, and adds unique texture to any dish. Hence the nutmeg. A happy accident, it appears that nutmeg deepens the smoky flavor of the cumin, and works exceptionally and surprisingly well with black beans. Who knew!?
Also, don’t stop at using pumpkin! Any winter squash or sweet potato would be wonderful in its stead.
That said, I wish you happy roasting!
Tray Roasted Black Bean Salad with Citrus
· 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
· 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
· 2 cups cooked pumpkin (feel free to substitute with any kind of winter squash or sweet potatoes)
· 1 tablespoon cumin
· 2 teaspoons nutmeg
· 2 teaspoons paprika
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Juice of ½ orange, 1 lemon, or your favorite, seasonal citrus of choice
Make it happen:
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the pumpkin into ½ inch cubes, and quarter the onions. Lay the pumpkin cubes out on the parchment paper for roasting.
- In a small bowl, combine the spices, and sprinkle about ¼ of the mix over the pumpkin cubes. Roast in the oven until just beginning to dry out, about 20 minutes.
- Add the onion quarters to the pan, sprinkle with another ¼ of the seasoning, and continue roasting.
- Rinse and drain the black beans in a colander, shaking off all excess water; dress with ½ of the citrus juice. When the onions just start to caramelize, remove the tray from the oven and gently push the vegetables to one side of the parchment, making room for the beans. Lay the beans out on the parchment paper and put the pan back in the oven until the beans are toasty and warm, about 15 minutes. The skins on some of the beans may begin to peel back and curl at this point – that’s when everything is done!
- Pour the remaining citrus juice and seasoning into the bottom of a bowl, and add the beans and vegetables on top. Toss gently to coat and break the onion quarters up slightly, and either serve warm with chopped veggies, lettuce wraps, and toast or crostini (or crackers, but really…toast.) or chill overnight and enjoy at room temperature for lunch for the week ahead!