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Winter Squash and White Bean Stew


What better way to warm up during the winter months than a nice, rich stew? Sweet winter squash and mild white beans pair perfectly with the spice of baharat—a Middle Eastern blend of warm spices like cinnamon, paprika, cumin, coriander, and black pepper.


Choose your favorite winter squash such as butternut, acorn, or kabocha; and use any white beans you have on hand. Omit the ground pork to easily make the stew vegan. This hearty dish takes a bit of work, but is easy to put together, and is great by itself or served alongside some crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth. This recipe makes 4 servings.


 

Ingredients

1 cup white beans (cannellini, caballero, tarbais, or great northern beans), canned or parboiled*

2 lb / 4 cups butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cubed to ½" pieces

½ lb ground pork (optional)

1 medium onion, halved and sliced ⅛" thick

3-4 leaves / 1 cup kale

1 tbsp baharat

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup dry white wine

28 oz canned / 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, diced

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Salt

Olive oil


Directions

To prepare kale, remove the central hard stem and tear leaves by hand into 2–3" pieces. 3 or 4 leaves should produce about 1 cup packed.


Preheat the oven to 350°.


Place a large oven-safe skillet with high sides over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the ground pork, if using, along with a pinch of salt. With a wooden spoon or spatula, break the pork into roughly teaspoon sized pieces and cook until evenly brown. Remove pork from the pan, but leave any fat remaining in the pan.


Keeping the skillet over medium heat, add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3–4 minutes until softened, then add the minced garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Sprinkle 1 tbsp baharat (or 1 heaping tbsp for a spicier flavor) evenly over the skillet. Stir for 30 seconds, then deglaze the pan by adding ½ cup white wine and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom.


Allow the wine to mostly evaporate, then add the beans and their cooking/canning liquid, cubed squash, kale, cooked pork, and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring to a low simmer.


Place a tight fitting lid on the skillet and transfer to the oven. Bake at 350° for 40–45 minutes if using canned beans, 60–80 minutes for parboiled beans, stirring every 20 minutes. The stew is done when the beans and squash are soft and fully cooked through. Season with additional salt, if desired. Allow the stew to cool 10 minutes before serving.


Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread.


* If using dry beans, parboil before use: soak beans for 6–8 hours or overnight; then in a small saucepan, cover with 1” fresh water and bring to a boil. Cook for 40–60 minutes, reserving the cooking liquid. This can be done up to 3 days in advance with beans kept in their liquid in the refrigerator.


 

Buy the spices you need to make this recipe!



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