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Shrimp, Beans and Acorn Squash with Cilantro Oil



This dish was inspired in the traditional “Feijoada” and has some of the most delicious flavors of my home country, Brazil!

Serves 6


  • 1 ½ cup great northern beans or Lima beans
  • ¾ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small acorn squash, seeded, peeled and cut in 2 inch-cubes
  • 1.5 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails preserved
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • ½ cup bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 4 large leaves collard greens, finely sliced
  • 1 cup clam juice


Cook the Beans – let the beans soaking in 2 cups of water for 2 or 3 hours. Drain and rinse. In a large sauce pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on moderate heat, add 3 tablespoons onions and cook until translucent, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook stirring until soft, 2 minutes. Add the beans and the bay leaf; cover with 4 cups boiling water and season with salt and pepper. Close the lid and cook on medium low heat until soft, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Add more water if necessary.

Bake the Acorn Squash – preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place the squash on a large baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix it well with your hands, making sure all pieces are well coated. Season with salt and pepper and bake until soft, about 1 hour.

Sauté the Shrimp – in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until hot. Add the shrimp and sauté until they turn pink and start to curl, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the Cilantro Oil – mix the cilantro and 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a small food processor. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Cook the bacon until golden. Add the chili flakes and the collard greens; cook stirring occasionally until the greens are soft, 10 minutes. Add the beans and the clam juice, cook until it is all incorporated. Turn off the heat and fold in the squash and shrimp. Serve it immediately drizzled with the cilantro oil.


Beans, bacon and collard greens cooked together are a Brazilian staple. This dish was inspired in the traditional “Feijoada” which consists of black beans slow cooked with pork cuts (like bacon, feet, ribs, and ears) then served with white rice, orange slices and sautéed collard greens. Restaurants serve it on Saturdays because you must take a nap after eating it since it is such a heavy dish! This version uses shrimp instead of exotic pork cuts which makes it lighter and more enticing to Americans. The acorn squash adds a touch of sweetness and creaminess, and the cilantro oil gives it a fresh kick. This dish represents some of the best and most traditional flavors of my home country, Brazil!

For a more interesting presentation, cut five 1 ½ -inch thick slices off each acorn squash. Bake it in the same dish with the cubed squash. Use those slices to decorate the plate before serving (see picture.)


Nutrition Facts:

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 844.7
Total Fat 59.4 g

Cholesterol 226.9 mg
Sodium 1,672.2 mg
Potassium 1,288.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.4 g
Dietary Fiber 9.4 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 47.8 g


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