Borlotti Bean Mole with Roast Winter Squash Recipe

A rich, hearty vegetarian mole recipe from Denis Cotter's new book. Seasonal beans, squash, and kale are baked in a rich, hearty chocolate and paprika-spiked mole.

Borlotti Bean Mole with Roast Winter Squash

I want to do a quick highlight of a fantastic cookbook I picked up while visiting Wayne's family in Philadelphia last August. Truth be told, I picked up a few books, but Denis Cotter's Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me was one of them. It is a beautifully crafted volume featuring chef Cotters' passion for the farm-fresh, vegetarian ingredients available to him in his native Ireland. Denis is the much celebrated chef at Café Paradiso and this Borlotti Bean Mole with Roasted Winter Squash is indicative of the type of recipe you'll find throughout the rest of this volume - seasonal and flavorful. In this case, beans, squash, and kale are baked in a rich, hearty chocolate and paprika-spiked mole.

Pumpkin Mole Recipe

In many regards - size, scale, design, and vibe, it reminds me of a vegetarian version of Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries, another beautiful book. Cotter and Slater's writing styles are notably different, but if you like the design of Kitchen Diaries, and are looking for a new swatch of veg-centric recipes, this book is well worth exploring.

Pumpkin Mole Recipe

I've earmarked - Beetroot and Pomegranate Tabbouleh with Orange-marinated Feta, Rosehip Syrup, Watercress Hummus, Green Seakale with Orange, Tomato and Fresh Sheep's Cheese, Roast Sunchoke Risottto with Lemon-thyme Oil. There are lots of others too.

Pumpkin Mole Recipe

Cristian Barnett's photographs are beautifully represented on thick, uncoated paper stock throughout the book.

Pumpkin Mole Recipe

Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me includes a mix of simple preparations, alongside more intensive, chefy, component-driven main-dish type recipes. Not a huge number of one-pot preparations, but there are many recipes included where I could see using individual components, or cutting corners on some of the preparation methods. There are a lot of really great ideas here, and Denis uses ingredients in combinations that might never have occurred to me.

I have the sense that because this book was originally published in the UK by Collins, an imprint of HarperCollins it might not have much distribution here in the U.S. Aside from the day I purchased it, I haven't seen it in stores - but it seems there are a few copies stocked at Amazon, and it has the "look inside" feature enabled, in case you'd like to take a closer peek. I should also mention that the book uses measurements in ounces and grams - no "cups" to be found.

Related Links:

- Wild Garlic on A Wee Bit of Cooking
- Cafe Paradiso Weblog
- Denis on BBC Food

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Borlotti Bean Mole with Roast Winter Squash

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, primarily to communicate amounts in a way that is a bit more approachable to American cooks. If you don't have fresh beans on hand, cook up a pot of dried ones. If you can't find borlotti beans feel free to substitute pinto beans or another bean of that nature. Chiles can vary in heat, so if you are sensitive, start with less, you can always add more later on in the cooking process if you like. Dennis recommends serving this mole with tortillas, polenta, mashed potatoes, or potato cakes.

~1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) fresh borlotti beans
~1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) winter squash
olive oil
4 - 5 big leaves of kale (3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 - 4 red jalapeno chiles, halved, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound of fresh plum tomatoes, chopped or 14-ounce can
2 teaspoons paprika
1 ounce of almonds, dark roasted and finely ground
2 ounces dark 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the borlotti beans and cook for about 10-15 minute until they are just cooked or even slightly undercooked. Drain and cool under cold running water, and set aside.

Cut the squash flesh into good-sized chunks, about 2 cm or 3/4-inch squares, place them in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes until caramelized on the outside but still firm. Reduce the oven temperature to 130C/ 250F / Gas mark 1/2. (hs note: alternately, you can brown the squash in a skillet.)

Without removing the central stem, cut the kale across the leaf into 2cm / 3/4-inch slices. Melt the butter into an oven-proof casserole dish (pot) and fry the onion and chilies gently over a low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized. Add the garlic and fry for three minutes more. Add the tomatoes and paprika, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the ground almonds, chocolate, squash, borlotti beans, kale, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Cover the casserole and put it in the oven to cook gently for 2 hours.

Serves 4.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


Oh. My. Goodness. I have a Cafe Paradiso and just love it! This week I checked out John Scharffenberg & Robert Steinberg's The Essence of Chocolate, which also has recipes with chocolate in entrees. I'm now convinced I must try this...soon.


What a great way to step into the cooler season. Squash and kale are two of my favorite winter time eats, as they always stir up warm, cozy feelings. I'll make this for my dear friend, Amada. She's a big Mole fan!

Ellie from Kitchen Caravan

Heidi, this is a great blog. Thank you for all the work you do.


Yum... I LOVE mole, and after making a traditional Mexican mole a few years ago (which took all day long, dirtied every pot, pan and stirring utensil in the entire house, and required frying all of the various components separately), I definitely appreciate a mole recipe that manages to replicate some of those flavors without all the labor. Keeping that in mind, toasted pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds which are often used in traditional moles might be nice sprinkled on top for garnish. And maybe a little queso fresco? I went out and bought some kale and winter squash this morning to make this recipe, along with some fresh broccoli and apples for your broccoli salad. Can't wait to try them! Thanks Heidi.


this is a great crock pot recipe. Thanks it looks delicious.


Having the ingredients in exact measurements is the best thing! I treasure Cotter's Cafe Paradiso Seasons more than other cookbooks because it has exact measurements, and everything comes out perfectly balanced. Looking forward to making this...


I love beans, squash, and kale. Sounds perfect!


I'm very fortunate to be married to an anything-you-want kind of man, so if I end up trying this, he'll only balk slightly. :) I like mole very much but ever since I saw it made in the old world, central Mexico (documentary), I've have never had the desire to make it myself. However. This is an interesting combination that piques my curiosity, so we shall see. I just re-stocked my pantry with cranberry and pinto beans. This has such an earthy, autumn or winter vibe to it that I just may give it a go. Thanks!

Erin @ Sprouted

this looks fantastic and so does the book. And thanks for "translating" it a bit by adding the cups and possible substitutions!

Tabitha (From Single to Married

Yum! It looks like a hearty and warming meal for a cool fall day. And chocolate never hurts, does it! I think this may find it's way to my menu plan for next week! Thanks for sharing.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Okay, THAT looks and sounds amazing!


This looks so good! The suggestion of serving alongside potato cakes (which I'm picturing as potato pancakes?) made me immeadiately think that this would make a great vegetarian main dish for Channukah to go alongside Latkes instead of brisket! I can't wait to try it out! Thanks for another great recipe!


Gorgeous book, gorgeous recipe. I need more mole in my life, that's for sure! Thanks for the recipe!


This looks beautiful! But I'm writing because I made your Salt-Kissed Buttermilk Cake! The comments are closed, so here goes. Despite a million missteps, YUM! My "changes": spilled the bowl of fresh-picked raspberries onto the sidewalk--good thing you said to squish them. Realized I have only teensy weensy tart pans, no 11-inch, so we have mini-cakes. AND realized after I had put on the raspberries that I forgot the baking powder! I pulled off the raspberries, put the batter back out of the 9 tart pans, and mixed in the baking powder. Oh, and spelt flour. I pulsed whole spelt flour into the food processor to try to make it more like pastry flour. It expanded from 2 cups to 2-1/2, so that's what I used. My only comment--you could use a whole tsp of kosher salt, and need a little less sugar on top when using individual pans. Cooked in about 18 minutes. Ah, Heidi, how nice to have recipes that leave room for error.


oooh, lovely, I'm glad you've found this book - I didn't think it had made it to the US. One of my favourite's of the last year, second only the Ottolenghi cookbook. I love the clever twists on old favourites like the watercress hummus and the black kale and aubergine spring rolls (p.s Heidi, your Cafe Paradiso Weblog link points to Wendy's site, the same URL as the link above)


Oh my gosh...I have EVERYTHING for this recipe. That just doesn't happen around here...with a new recipre for me. Okay, I'm too excited now! I've been looking for a reason to get better at cooking mole recipes too. Dried beans are a staple in my house over the traditional flour/sugar; second to loose tea(s). I've literally just added borlotti (cranberry) beans to my pantry! (my kiddies groaned) Now if I can just get everyone to eat kale...willingly. ;) C.


Salivating already...always been curious about the chocolate thing in non-dessert items but never got around to trying...this having 3 other favorite foods of mine in it, is the mole recipe that will get me to do it, TONIGHT! "Thank you Heidi! " I say that outloud every time your journal shows up, but don't always post :)


I love all things mole and this looks delicious. I've always made the crazy labor intensive version, this will be a nice change.


MMMM, I can already smell this cooking in my kitchen! And with how blustery the weather has been lately (and some new squash I just scored at the Farmer's Market), this sounds like a perfect fall meal. Can't wait to make this over the weekend!

Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.