- prep time15 min
- total time 105 min
- serves 4
This vegetarian chili features more than just zucchini, including beans, rice, spinach, herbs and spices and a variety of toppings.
4 poblano peppers
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ lb(s) firm small to medium-size zucchini, chopped into small dice
2 onions, chopped into small dice
3 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red or green hot chile pepper, chopped or thinly sliced
1 Tbsp cumin, palmful
1 Tbsp coriander, palmful
A few sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram, 1/3 palmful
¼ cup tomato paste
1 (12-oz) bottle beer (recommended: Negra Modela)
1 (15-oz) can black beans
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup long grain white or light brown rice
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, optional
1. Char the skins of the poblano chiles by placing them over a gas burner or under a hot broiler with the oven door slightly cracked. Turn the chiles until the skins are black. Remove and cool the chiles in a tightly covered bowl, then peel and finely chop or process into coarse puree in food processor.
2. Heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat and add zucchini, onions, garlic, hot pepper, cumin, coriander, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper, stir frequently for 10 minutes. Add in the tomato paste, and stir 1 minute more. Deglaze the pan with beer, stir in poblanos and beans and about half of the stock, bring to a bubble then reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes to combine flavors. Cool completely, cover and store for make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat.
3. While the chili reheats make the rice. Melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat and add the rice, toast a minute or 2, then stir in 1 1/2 cups stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook covered, over low heat 15 minutes.
4. To food processor, add the spinach, cilantro, if using, and a little salt, and pulse into a fine paste. Stir the paste into the rice after 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the rice stand another 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve in shallow bowls with zucchini chili and toppings of choice to garnish.
5. Toppers to choose from: crushed tortillas or warm soft tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheeses, scallions or finely chopped onions, lime wedges.