basic black beans

My mom used to live in Texas and my love for black beans reveals how I have been influenced by the Lone Star state. When I visited her I would always try to convince her to go on a road-trip to Mexico so that we could eat fresh tortillas and buy wrestling masks. Living in Dallas did not make such a road-trip convenient, but the city has certainly enough Mexican inspired food to make up for it. Not to even mention the Southern food, such as grits.

Black beans are high up on my list of comfort foods. Their versatility makes them all the more desirable. Throw them in salads with avocado, baby spinach and tomato, or toss them with roasted sweet potato, poppy seeds, and orange zest. Eat them as a side to a frittata. Mash 'em, re-fry 'em and eat 'em with tortilla or pita chips. They can even be used as a substitute for flour in baking. Yes, black beans are pretty wonderful.

If I am making something savory, this recipe is always where I start. I like to think about recipes as blue-prints. I use them as a foundation, but along the way I always find myself adding or subtracting. I just follow my taste buds and what happens to be in my pantry.

Basic Black Beans


dried black beans that have been soaked overnight
water, water, water
garlic, chopped
onion, finely chopped
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
soy sauce
cumin, if you wish
fresh cilantro, if you have some
a generous amount of sea salt

Soak black beans overnight and then rinse well. In a medium sized pot heat olive oil and then add onion. Add garlic. Once fragrant add black beans and cover with enough water so that black beans are completely covered, and then an inch or two more. Add salt and some cilantro. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Once beans have been simmering for an hour or so add some more garlic, salt, or cilantro. Also add balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, or cumin, or all. Play around with the flavours. Simmer for another hour.


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