Personally, I’m not so fond of “vegetable” chilis, as they seem to feature overcooked and watery veggies that were never meant to be “stewed.” So in warmer weather, I top the bean chili with a cool, salsa-like mixture of raw veggies like tomatoes, avocado, and corn. And in the winter, instead of adding vegetables to the pot during braising, I roast them separately and garnish the dish with them.
Make Ahead Tips
The chili is best the same day it’s made, but you can refrigerate or freeze it. Cool the chili, uncovered, at room temperature, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. Then divide into portions and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. To freeze, refrigerate until completely cold, then transfer to the freezer and store up to 1 month.
Serve with Classic Buttermilk Cornbread.
Chili with Roasted Winter Vegetables: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line two large, heavy-duty rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a large mixing bowl, toss 2 lb. peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice, with 5 Tbs. olive oil and 1-1/4 tsp. kosher salt until evenly coated (or substitute an equivalent amount or a combination of carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, or turnips for the squash). Divide the vegetables evenly between the prepared baking sheets and spread them in a single layer. Roast for 18 minutes. Using a flat spatula, flip some of the veggies over for more even browning. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back and between top and bottom racks and roast until all the veggies are tender and nicely browned in places, about 12 minutes more, for a total of about 30 minutes. Top the chili with the roasted vegetables in place of the fresh salsa.
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This is the best chili I've ever had, much less made. I have made it several times and every time it has been absolutely amazing. My friends always love it. I don't even notice that it's vegetarian, which is the mark of a truly good vegetarian dish in my humble carnivorous opinion. I often don't have all the chili peppers, but substitutions can be made to taste and the flavor is always complex and fantastic. I like the goat cheese but my boyfriend prefers it with sour cream.
absolutely fabulous chili. complex flavors.
Another hit from you! I agree with another reviewer that the recipe looked intimidating at first, but by prepping everything mise en place, it was very straightforward. There was a good heat, not overly assertive but mellow. I used San Marzano DOP tomatoes and would recommend that anyone else use them, too. The flavor of this chile, like many others, rounded out after about 2 days; thus, next time I would make it a day or two in advance.
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