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Poblano Chilies Stuffed with Black Beans and Summer Squash

Broiling chilies until their skins blacken imparts an alluring smokiness. Here, zucchini, summer squash and roasted chilies are added to the hearty black-bean-and-rice filling, which is stuffed into whole chilies for a light, summery dish. Tangy crème fraîche and salty Parmigiano add refreshing accents.

Ingredients:

  • 8 poblano chilies
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 small chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Position an oven rack 6 inches below the heating element and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place 2 of the chilies on the prepared sheet. Broil the chilies, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 15 minutes. Set the oven temperature to 400°F. Transfer the chilies to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let steam for 5 minutes. With wet fingers, pull off the skin from the chilies. Remove the seeds and stems from the chilies, dice the flesh and set aside.

Cut a 2-inch-long slit in each of the remaining 6 chilies. With a paring knife, carefully scrape out the seeds from the insides of the chilies.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the zucchini and summer squash, cover the pan and sauté until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover, add the tomato, cayenne, a pinch of salt and the black pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the vegetables cool slightly.

Add the beans, cilantro, rice and crème fraîche to the pan and mix well. Spoon the bean mixture into the chilies, dividing it evenly. Place the stuffed chilies, cut side up, in a baking dish, and add enough water to come 1/2 inch up the sides of the dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the stuffing is heated through and the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil, grate some cheese over the tops of the chilies and bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately directly from the baking dish. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables, by Jodi Liano (Oxmoor House, 2008).