Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Served with Columbia Restaurant’s 1905 salad- When I first moved to Tampa, Florida, I had never heard of black beans, let alone tasted them. A staple of Cuban food, black beans are very versatile and used almost everyday. Now I eat them on a regular basis, and this is my version of Moros Y Cristianos (Moors and Christians), by far my family’s favorite recipe for this humble bean. The name of this dish refers to the wars between the Moors (blacks) and the Spaniards (whites). It is a reminder of the Spanish influence on Cuba. The Columbia is a famous Spanish restaurant in Tampa. It is known for its flamingo dancers and authentic Spanish/Cuban cuisine; the 1905 salad being one of its specialties. This is my vegetarian version, as I have omitted the meat and changed out the iceberg to butter lettuces.
    Servings
    4people
    Cook Time
    20-25minutes
    Meal Plan
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    Servings
    4people
    Cook Time
    20-25minutes
    Meal Plan
    Add to Meal Plan:
    This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
    Ingredients
    • 1cup instant brown rice
    • 1/2cup extra vigin olive oil, divided
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 7 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
    • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2teaspoon dried oregano, divided
    • 1tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 bag sweet baby greens (like Fresh Express)
    • 1/4cup green Spanish olives, pitted
    • 1/2cup Swiss cheese, cut in julienne strips
    • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut in eighths
    • 1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/8cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4cup grated Romano cheese, preferably from refrigerated section
    • Sour cream or Greek yogurt, optional condiment
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped, optional condiment
    • 1 avocados, chopped, optional condiment
    • 1 onion, chopped, optional condiment
    • hot sauce
    • 1cup fresh cilantro, chopped, optional condiment
    Instructions
    1. Combine rice and 1 3/4 water in a saucepan, and cook according to package directions. Set aside and keep warm.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat. Sauté onions and 3 cloves of garlic for 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the black beans, bay leaf, cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano, and balsamic vinegar to the saucepan, season with sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    3. While black beans are simmering, assemble the 1905 salad: Toss together the salad greens and the following 2 ingredients (through olives) in a bowl.
    4. Mix 4 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Beat until smooth with a wire whisk. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, gradually beating to form an emulsion. Stir in white wine vinegar and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
    5. Add dressing to salad and toss well. Add Romano cheese and toss one more time. Serve with black beans and rice.
    6. Divide rice evenly among large bowls. Top with ½-1 cup black beans. Serve optional condiments in individual bowls so each person can pick and choose their toppings.
    Recipe Notes

    If you are not a fan of instant rice, substitute white or brown rice and cook according to package directions. Note that it takes about 20 minutes to cook white rice and 40 minutes for brown rice. I noted that the condiments are optional, but I highly recommend you serve them with the black beans and rice. The classic serving of the Cuban dish is with chopped, raw onions heaped on top and a liberal dash of hot sauce. I like to up the nutritional quotient by adding chopped tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro (the condiments will print on shopping list). My youngest daughter forgoes the raw veggies and tops hers with Greek yogurt for a creamy finish. You can easily make the salad more meat-friendly by adding ½ cup ham, cut in julienne strips (or turkey or shrimp). This is how The Columbia serves it. If you can find a high quality Cuban bread and don’t mind the additional carbs, this is the classic way to eat Cuban black beans and rice. Be prepared to need a nap, though!

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