Monday, October 6, 2008

Messing with the classics

The burrito and pesto - pretty straightforward, one would think. Think again:

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito (from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites)

- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 teaspoons canola/veg. oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 fresh chiles, minced (I like red for color contrast and taste)

- 4 tsp. ground cumin
- 4 tsp. ground coriander
- 4-1/2 cups cooked black beans (or three 15-oz. cans, drained)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- salt
- 8 eight-inch (whole wheat) flour tortillas

1) Put sweet potatoes in a saucepan with salt and water to cover. Cover and boil, then simmer till tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and put aside.
2) Meanwhile, warm the oil in a saucepan and add the onions, garlic, and chiles. Cover and cook on medium-low until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the cumin and coriander and let that sweat 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
3) In a food processor (or if you don't have one, with a potato masher - I actually prefer this method, it makes for a more interesting texture), combine the black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and cooked sweet potatoes and puree until smooth (or mash until you're satisfied). Put into a large mixing bowl and add in the cooked onions and spices.

4) Now put a few big spoonfuls in the center of the heated tortillas, wrap, and eat with red salsa or...

Cilantro Pesto!

- 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems and all
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 c. toasted sunflower seeds (you can toast them in a dry pan on high heat, shaking continuously)
- 1 tbsp. miso paste
- 1-3 tbsp. water, depending on desired texture

Whir it in a food processor or blender and serve on top of your Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito - or wherever you would use conventional pesto!

(I never seem to remember to take the picture before everything gets devoured! Pity, I guess I'll just have to make it again...)


Jeff said...

I can't wait to try this recipe! We had a vegan restaurant on Wesleyan's campus that often served sweet potato and black bean burritos for lunch and I loved it!!!


Evie said...

Oh yay! I'm glad this recipe brings you back to your glory days at Wes :-)

Luna said...

Thank you Eveling! Your recipe inspired a week of making yummy stuff, after days of eating cheese out of the fridge as lunch...

So... when making the puree, I forgot about garlic and was too lazy to get lemons. And I cooked the onions down for a long time until they were brown and sweet. Took longer than expected, but in hindsight a lot of the time went towards bean-squishing and yam-splatting.

By the time I finished, I was too full from tasting and retasting to really enjoy eating it. But!! When Sam got home, he mixed in a beaten egg, shaped the puree into patties, floured the sides and fried them up as burgers. We ate them with wheatful bread, mustard, and hot sauce.... Mmm!!! Soooo good, and so filling.

The cilantro really makes it happen. Mmmm.