From Cuba to New Orleans, from Veracruz and south through Central and South America, there are many versions of black beans and rice. Medium- or long-grain white rice is traditionally used, but I have no qualms about using brown basmati. Don’t use canned black beans here, as the fragrant broth from the black beans is essential.
1 tablespoon canola oil or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced across the grain
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked medium- or long-grain white rice, or brown basmati rice
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans with about 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid
Salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Stir in the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the rice, beans and about 1/2 cup broth from the beans. Stir gently for about five minutes until the mixture is heated through, and serve. The mixture should be moist. Add more broth if necessary.
Variation: For Veracruz-style black beans and rice, add one to three minced serrano or jalapeño chiles. Cook along with the onion before adding the garlic, rice and beans. In Veracruz, this dish would be served with fried plantains.
Yield: Serves four as a main dish, six as a side.
Advance preparation: You can make this several hours ahead so long as you have more broth to add when you heat it up; otherwise, the rice will be dry.
Nutritional information per serving (based on four servings): 227 calories; 4 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 40 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 2 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 8 grams protein
Nutritional information per serving (based on six servings): 151 calories; 3 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 26 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 2 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 5 grams protein