I love summer eating and “cooking.” At our house, summer cooking is really more assembling than cooking. There are so many great ingredients right outside our back door (or arriving in our CSA box or from a trip to the farmer’s market) that I spend a few minutes cutting up a few things and throwing them together with a few other things and that’s our dinner. It’s so delicious, and I’ll dream about heirloom tomatoes, basil, onions and Gorgonzola (my favorite lunch that I ate for about 27 days straight at one point this summer) all winter long.

However.

I love to cook. I love spending awhile in the kitchen, putting together a meal, enjoying the smells and test tastes. I don’t do that much in the summer, but the temperatures have turned lately. I’ve been back in the kitchen and loving it. I made this recipe last week on Monday, and it made enough for two dinners + lunch for me all week! That’s my kinda meal…

Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Barely adapted from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant*

Ingredients

7 cups black beans
3 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup onions, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup tomato juice or orange juice (I used tomato this time around)
2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
6 cups brown rice, cooked

Directions

Cook the beans and reserve at least a cup or two of the cooking liquid for later. Saute the onions, garlic, and spices in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the green peppers and saute for 5 minutes more. Add salt, black pepper, juice, and tomatoes and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Combine the drained black beans with the vegetable mixture. Puree 2-3 cups of the bean-vegetable mixture with a stick blender, adding the reserved liquid if necessary to make a smooth puree. Stir the puree into the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for salt.

Serve the beans on the rice and top with hot sauce and a dollop of sour cream.

Leftover tips: The black beans also make a great filling for burritos. If you thin this out with a bit more tomato/orange juice, it would make a great black bean soup.

*In my experience, if you ever see a Moosewood cookbook for a decent price (I see them at Goodwill often), BUY IT! You won’t regret it…

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