Chef Juje

A messy adventure in learning to cook

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito

I take new year’s resolutions very seriously – especially when they’re fun and really only benefit me.  Ha!  This year I “resolved” to go on one adventure  each week that I’ve never done before here in Columbus, like visit all the metro parks,  see Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio 35 and try Somali food.

This week  I visited the Clintonville Winter Farmer’s Market.  Maybe it’s the old beautiful houses or the Olentangy trail or the general strange-but-wonderful-ness of the area, but I simply LOVE Clintonville.  It’s January and Ohio so there wasn’t a ton of produce available, but I did leave with a giant loaf of ciabatta bread, a basket of red potatoes and two giant sweet potatoes.

I’ve eaten a lot of sweet potato fries as of late so I tried this new dish from an old cookbook.  You basically take a bunch of 6-inch tortillas, spread a black bean mixture on the bottom of each, then add a layer of sweet potato puree and finish with some shredded Monterrey Jack. This is the follow-the-recipe-exactly-because-I’m-still-learning variety, but I’ve come up with some ways I’d like to spice it up in the future.  Maybe additional spices (paprika? red pepper flakes?) for the sweet potatoes or black beans. I might also roll the burritos Chipotle-style, or cut them into smaller pieces and serve as an appetizer. Ideas welcome!

Oh! One last thing. I think you can microwave the sweet potatoes instead of baking them in the oven. But see previous posts about how I like to make things as complicated as possible.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito


2 sweet potatoes, about 10 ounces each
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water (you can use vegetable stock instead)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Eight 6-inch flour tortillas
2 to 3 scallions, white part only thinly sliced
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
Shredded romaine, sour cream, and chopped pickled jalapeños for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Prick the potatoes with a knife in several places and bake in a small baking pan until very tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

Stir in the cumin and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and vegetable stock, cover, and cook until the beans are very soft and the flavors have blended, about 5 minutes.

Use a fork to coarsely mash the beans. Season with salt and pepper. You should have about 1 1/2 cups.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool. (Keep the oven at the same temperature.) When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve and scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a small bowl and use a fork to mash coarsely. Discard the skins. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. You should have 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

Spread the tortillas with roughly equal amounts of the bean mixture. Top with equal amounts of the potato puree.

Sprinkle on equal amounts of scallions and cheese.

Roll the tortillas into cylinders and arrange, seam side down, in a baking pan large enough to hold the burritos in one layer. For a soft burrito, cover with foil and bake until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Bake uncovered for a crisper burrito.

Arrange the garnishes attractively in bowls and let diners garnish their own burritos.

Helpful Hint:  Save some counter space for the arrangement of the tortillas.

Source:  Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, 2007


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2 thoughts on “Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito

  1. Excellent presentation. Can’t wait to try these bad boys

  2. Chef Juje on said:

    Thanks! Still in camera-phone-mode. Will eventually upgrade to a real camera with real pictures and that will be a very, very exciting day. Tell me how they turn out if you make them!

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