Pumpkin and Bean Nacho Dip

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For the fourth year in a row, Jake and I are embarking on the Pumpkin Challenge! During the month of October, we try to eat pumpkin in some way once each day, as a way to explore one of our favorite foods. We’ve found a lot of interesting foods over the years – some are easy, some are complicated, sweet, or savory. To start, here is a yummy layered nacho bean and pumpkin dip – happy October!

Serves 4 as a generous snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (or one 16 oz can) of cooked black or kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup tomato
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup pickled peppers
  • 1/4 cup jalepeños, onions, and carrots en escabeche (substitute 1 jalepeño)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp each of coriander seed, cumin, oregano, and unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp each allspice, chipotle chili powder, and cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1/2 cup cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese to top

Instructions

If you are starting with dry beans, place about 1 1/4 cup of dry beans in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, and boil until the beans are tender. This can vary from 30 – 45 minutes depending on how dry your beans are, just check until they are completely soft every so often.

Preheat the oven or a toaster oven (if your baking dish will fit) to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients. Dice the tomato, escabeche, and pickled peppers to the size you like, I like about a 1/4″ dice. Dice the onion and divide the diced onion in half. Combine the cooked beans, half the onion, the tomato, escabeche, peppers, corn, oregano, the lime juice, and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper in a square baking dish – stir so the ingredients are evenly distributed.

If you have whole allspice, cumin, and coriander seed, place these spices in a dry skillet and toast for about 30 seconds over medium heat until they are fragrant. Use a mortar and a pestle or spice grinder to grind into a paste. Otherwise, use powdered spice. In the same skillet, add a tsp of olive oil and the rest of the diced onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion is starting to become translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, then combine onions, pumpkin, coriander seed, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cocoa powder, chili powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a small mixing bowl. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed, then pour over the vegetables into the baking dish, using the back of a spoon to spread out the mixture.

Grate the cheese and sprinkle it over top. Bake the dish for about 20 minutes, until the cheese has started to brown. Now the cheese will be lovely and gooey and the flavors will have baked well together! Top with some sour cream and cilantro if you like and enjoy this dip with tortilla chips! I think it would probably also be good with some extra rice wrapped up in a burrito.