Black bean and summer squash enchilada

I know, I know, I have been posting a lot of Mexican recipes in a row recently but I *promise* this will be the last Mexican recipe I post for quite some time! See, ever since I ate this black bean and summer squash enchilada at our office cafeteria, I have been itching to try it out and though I knew I have been cooking a lot of Mexican recently; I figured this enchilada would be the perfect season finale to my self-induced Mexican cooking bonanza :)

The head-chef at our office cafeteria hails from Southern America so while the Indian food featured is a bit dismal with its chicken curry, chicken tikka masala and chicken vindaloo all looking and testing _exactly_ the same, Mexican, Peruvian and Brazilian food is quite the different story! The salsa bar is exquisite and ever so often we get to taste a dish so unique and flavorful that it makes eating there quite enjoyable. Needless to say everyday the first thing I do when I visit the cafe is check the South American food section to see if something new is on the menu today. Thats how I first ate this black bean and summer squash enchilada. I liked the combination of hearty flavors of black beans against the mild relatively bland squash; all put together with vinegary tomatoes and of-course lots of melted cheese!

Summer squashes are in season and this is a perfect recipe to cook with them. I bought a basket full of variety of summer squashes from the farmer's market yesterday and today I was all set to give a try to recreate the taste of "the" black bean and summer squash enchilada. I looked up a couple of recipes online, but none looked like they would bring back the taste so finally I just set out on my own and put together something that was closest to what I had. The result was very delicious.. we both immensely enjoyed the enchilada with a side of fresh guacamole and some fresh lemonade as a Sunday lunch... the lazy Sunday afternoon is now calling me, and with my tummy filled this might just be the perfect time for a quick summer afternoon siesta!

Recipe: serves 4
12 corn  tortiallas
1 medium onion - diced
3 large cloves of garlic - minced
1 14oz can of black beans
4C diced summer squash (or zucchini, if you can't find summer squash or yellow squash)
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
1 7oz can of tomato sauce/tomato puree
handful of chopped fresh thyme (or a dash of dried)
1/2tsp dried oregano
1tsp cumin powder
crushed chili flakes (to taste)
1tsp sugar
2Tbsp olive oil
handful of reduced fat Mexican cheese blend

Prepare the black bean and summer squash filling:
Sautee half of a chopped onion and two minced cloves of garlic in 1Tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat. When the onions are tender, add the squash, salt and cook uncovered until squash turns tender and barely starts to fall apart (10mins or so). Add rinsed black beans and mix well. Let cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and add cumin powder, fresh thyme and chili flakes. Mix well and remove the filling to a serving bowl.

Prepare the tomato sauce:
In the same pan in which you cooked the filling, add 1Tbsp olive oil and sautee the other half of the onion and the remaining clove of garlic. When the onion is tender, add diced tomatoes with its juices and the tomato sauce. Add salt, sugar, oregano and stir well. Let cook for 10-15mins and then remove from heat. Taste. If the sauce is too acidic, add more sugar.

Prepare the enchilada:
Preheat the oven to 380F. Lightly brush a rectangular glass baking dish with oil spray.

Warm up the corn tortiallas one by one. Take one tortialla. Add a Tbsp of the filling in the center. Spread the filling vertically. Roll up the tortialla, tuck it well and place in the baking dish. Repeat the process with each of the 12 tortiallas.

Spread tomato sauce over the tortiallas. Spread as much cheese as you would like over the sauce.

Bake for 15mins or so until the cheese is melted. Remove, serve warm with guacamole or sour cream and some fresh cilantro.

Leaving you today with this bright summer squash picture. Till next time...