As maple leaves blew across the front yard I decided a big pot of simmering chili would be the perfect pairing for this blustery Fall evening.
To make the meal, even more, Fall appropriate, I decided this pot of chili would feature freshly roasted pumpkin, a touch of cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg. The result was savory, spicy and gently sweet. I declared it Fall in a bowl.
What are your favorite meals in the Fall?
- 1 small pumpkin (1 1/2 – 2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 cups Swiss chard, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups, cannellini beans, cooked
- 2 1/2 cups, kidney beans, cooked
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces, dark beer (Founders Porter)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cilantro (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse and dry the small pumpkin. Slice in half, scoop out seeds and membrane.
- Brush the inside of the pumpkin halves with one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place them face down (skin side up) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
- Bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool. The flesh should easily separate from the skin.
- Scoop out the flesh and cut into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or stockpot.
- Toss in the onion and saute until translucent.
- Add the garlic. Cook until fragrant and lightly golden.
- Add all the spices: chili powder, ancho chile pepper, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continuously move around the pot for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour in the beer and let it reduce by half.
- Add the fresh tomatoes, Swiss chard, cooked pumpkin and cooked beans.
- Stir and cover. Let cook 20-30 minutes.
- Before serving season with additional salt and pepper if necessary and a sprinkle of cilantro.