Monday, June 13, 2011

Black Beans and Rice with Greens and Oregano

The combination of rice and beans and whatever greens we have on hand tends to be my go-to meal when I haven't thought ahead about dinner and just want something straightforward and easy that doesn't require going to the store. But because it's the Backup Plan and doesn't really sound that glamorous, I'm always surprised when it turns out to be not just passable but really good...and it almost always does. So here's another version that works well if you have black beans and beet greens or chard nearby (if you have fresh cilantro instead, see this post or this one, and for white beans and kale, go here).

1 cup Forbidden rice (or sub brown basmati rice), cooked
Olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp(ish) chopped green garlic
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
2-3 cups beet greens (or sub chard), sliced into ribbons
1 can black beans, partly drained
Finely chopped fresh oregano, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little extra sharp white cheddar, grated

Heat a glug of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, green garlic, and jalapeno, and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the red pepper and cook for a minute or two more, then stir in the beet greens and saute until they begin to wilt. Add a pinch or two of salt.

Stir in the black beans, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or so to let the flavors blend, then add a couple pinches of oregano and cook a minute more. Turn off the heat, add some pepper, and adjust the salt and oregano to taste.

Serve over rice with a little grated cheddar sprinkled over the top. This is one of those dishes that will taste more complex when it's not piping hot, so leaving a minute or two between serving and starting dinner will help bring out the flavors (you want it to be warm, just not molten).

Serves 2 for a light dinner (if you're hungry, you might want a little salad too or a fruit course afterward).

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