Valencian-Style Rice and Red Beans
A Spanish-inspired recipe, this dish of brown rice and red beans is a great for busy weeknights, when you want something easy and hearty. The key is to have the rice cooked ahead of time, but even if you don’t, it’s still not a daunting task. Briny olives perk up the mellow flavor of brown rice and beans. Serve with steamed broccoli or cauliflower, and if you’d like, some pan-grilled polenta slices like you see in the photo. In either case, serve a simple green salad on the side and finish with sliced seedless oranges.
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 15-to 16-ounce can small red beans, drained and rinsed,
or 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked red beans
- 1 1/2 cups diced ripe tomato
- 2/3 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Cayenne pepper or hot red pepper flakes, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Combine the rice with 3 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 30 to 35 minutes. If you’d like a more tender grain, add another 1/2 cup water and cook until absorbed.
About 15 minutes before the rice is done, heat the oil in a wide skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and sauté until all are golden.
Once the rice is done, add to the skillet along with the remaining ingredients except the last two. Cook for 5 minutes, or until everything is well heated through. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the cilantro. Serve at once.
Per serving: 293 calories; 9g fat; 665mg sodium; 48g carbs; 6.5g fiber; 9g protein