RICE AND BEANS IN ALL THEIR GLORY
Grant has worked on this recipe for years and it is absolutely perfect (in my humble opinion). I was going to give the bowl a sombrero but then I found out that the recipe is more accurately attributed to West African influence because rice is not native to the Americas. The dish is popular is so many cultures that it is as colourful in history as it is in a bowl. Nutritious, filling and perfect for all seasons, this dish makes great leftovers and freezes very well.
3 cans of black beans or red kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups of dried beans
1 can 15 oz diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you like the flavor)
1 medium yellow onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 to 4 cups of baby spinach (about half of one of the pre-packaged spinach from the grocery store)
1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon of coriander
3/4 teaspoon of cardamon
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional for added kick)
1 1/2 cups of uncooked short grain brown rice
Cook the dry beans by soaking them in a large pot overnight (12 hours or so) leaving about 2 inches of water above the beans. Drain and rinse the beans the next day. Add beans to large pot cover with 2 inches of water and bring to boil. Cover and cook beans in lightly boiling water over medium low heat, spooning off starchy froth every half hour. Cook for 2 hours or until tender.
Place the 1 1/2 cups of rice in a large pot with 3 cups of water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 45-55 minutes, until fluffy.
Dice the onion and add it in large frying pan with spices and olive oil over medium heat. Brown the onion until translucent - for about 5 minutes.
Add the beans and canned tomatoes to the onions. Bring the liquid in the pan to a boil and then turn down the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium and add the spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted and shrunk - about 2 minutes.
Mix the rice and the beans together in a large bowl and serve. Enjoy!
Recipe by Grant Clark
Illustration by Rosie Kosinski