Black beans and rice is a common staple among Hispanic culture because it is hearty, nutritious and easy on your budget. This recipe adds fresh peppers and scallions for an extra kick in every bite.
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups long-grain rice
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large green or red pepper, chopped (1 ½ cups)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
2 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup sliced scallions (optional)
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 ½ teaspoons of the olive oil. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, green or red pepper, and garlic until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, vinegar, bay leaves, black pepper, cumin, and remaining salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes; remove the bay leaves. Spoon the beans over the rice and sprinkle with the scallions, if desired. Serve warm.
Tip: For a quick black bean soup, follow this recipe. Then remove the bay leaves and process the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Instead of serving it with rice, spoon a dollop of sour cream onto each serving and sprinkle with sliced scallions.