Roasted Acorn Squash with Lemony Pinto Beans and Zhoug

Zhoug is a Middle Eastern spicy cilantro sauce. Start with one jalapeño and feel free to add more if you’d like more heat. This zhoug recipe can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Any leftover zhoug is perfect with other roasted vegetables, fried eggs, or grilled chicken or fish.

There are many ways to cook beans, including soaking them overnight before cooking or making them in a pressure cooker. Another option is to boil them for a few minutes and allow them to rest covered for an hour before simmering them until cooked and tender. Start with our master bean recipe and whip up the following delicious side dish.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Lemony Pinto Beans and Zhoug Recipe

Serves 4

1 bunch cilantro, about 3-4 oz, roughly chopped
1 -2 jalapeño peppers, membrane removed and roughly chopped
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil


Place the cilantro, jalapeño, cumin, garlic, salt, and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz, adding more olive oil as needed to form a paste. Taste and add salt as needed.

1 acorn squash
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the squash in half, remove the stem (if there is one), seeds, and pith–a grapefruit spoon is helpful. Cut each half into wedges, about 10-12 in total.
  3. Place on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and toss with the olive oil to thoroughly coat the wedges.
  4. Roast until nicely browned on one side–about 15-20 minutes. Turn the wedges and cook tender, about another 10 minutes.

1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups cooked pinto beans (see “master recipe”)
1 lemon, zested
Salt and pepper


Sauté the garlic in the olive oil, add the beans, and finely grate the zest of the lemon over the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the acorn squash wedges on a platter, scatter the pinto beans around them, and dress with spoonfuls of the zhoug. Serve with the remaining zhoug on the side.

Recipes by Julia Platt Leonard / Food Photography by Dave Bryce / Styling by Merrie O’Donnell

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