Once upon a time… black beans and rice was one of several daily lunch items served at the nearby cafeteria in a remote part of Miami, where I worked. Having limited lunch options and the cares of a 20+ year old buying cheap a lunch to accommodate for a sizeable wardrobe was the norm, right?
Black beans and rice, a staple of the Spanish Caribbean diet, is especially popular at Cuban tables. I first tasted this dish when I moved to Miami in the late 90’s and I immediately fell in love. By 2001, I had concocted my own recipe. When it was endorsed by several outspoken Cuban grandmothers I knew I had a winner. Since then, I have prepared this dish countless times and it’s a guaranteed hit every time.
Use canned black beans and you’ll be enjoying this classic side dish in under 30 minutes. Pair with a savory meat, fish, or poultry dish like Pollo con Cebolla and some fried plantains for a traditional Cuban dinner. The recipe is below.
1 sprig thyme
½ small onion, diced small
2 Tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 – 15.5 ounce Black Beans
3 cups hot cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)
Over medium heat, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add thyme, onions, and black pepper. Sautee for 2 – 3 minutes. Add beans and liquid to pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir well. Spoon over plated rice to serve.