From spicy Southwestern salsa and pepper jack burritos to steamed tofu and quinoa, these incredible recipes highlight black beans.
Food & Wine
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Vegetarian Chili with Barley, Quinoa and Beans
Zoe Nathan makes this healthy and not-at-all-spicy chili with grains, carrots, mushrooms and beans for tons of great texture. She serves it with classic chili toppings: cilantro, sour cream and shredded cheese.
Southern and Southwestern ingredients unite in this sustaining meal of beans, peppers, and tomatoes over the best grits you will ever eat. If you don't have the quick-cooking variety, use regular and follow the instructions on the package.
Living in Miami, surrounded by Cuban culture, chef Michelle Bernstein has grown to love black beans, particularly in thick and chunky black bean soup. She makes a silky version by adding cream to the beans, then blending them until frothy.
Most veggie burgers are a pale imitation of the all-beef original, but even with ordinary black beans in place of Rancho Gordo Midnight beans, these robust patties with roasted red pepper spread are moist and delicious. The spread doubles as a fantastic dipping sauce for French fries.
Zucchini, Corn, Black-Bean, and Jack-Cheese Quesadillas
The grated zucchini and defrosted frozen corn that fill these tasty quesadillas contain a lot of moisture. Drain them on paper towels for a few minutes before using; otherwise, you'll end up with soggy tortillas. Serve the quesadillas with spicy salsa.
Ken Oringer believes chefs need to make a point of eating healthy dishes when they can, so he includes protein-rich quinoa in his diet at least three times a week. Here he mixes the grain with black beans, onions and peppers to make a hearty and very satisfying side dish that's a fun variation on prosaic five-bean salad.
Deconstructed nachos were the inspiration behind this fun pizza. Made with chili-spiced black-bean puree, tomatoes, olives, shredded lettuce and low-fat Jack cheese on a whole-wheat crust, the pie also gets a little low-fat sour cream (that nacho staple) on top.
Chef Eric Ripert is a master at weaving together unexpected ingredients, like this tender charred octopus with a sauce of salty fermented black beans and sweet pear. Finding a wine pairing for such a complex dish, however, is a challenge. "It needs a very aromatic wine, just to stand up to all the flavors," says wine expert Aldo Sohm.
Corinne Trang, author of Essentials of Asian Cuisine, offers this pungent, garlicky take on the Chinese dish of tofu stuffed with shrimp in black bean sauce. The shrimp here are stir-fried just until they curl and served alongside firm tofu.
Black beans, often served in a soup or stew, have been a mainstay of Mexican cuisine for thousands of years. Black-bean soup is also popular in the Caribbean, where rum, sherry, or peppered wine is often added toward the end of cooking. We add the sherry somewhat earlier in this version, which combines elements of both traditions.