Beans are a staple in the Spanish cooking arena, as many dishes include Spanish rice and beans. Plenty of Spanish food recipes calls for beans, which are ideal for use year round.
Beans, which are known as legumes, are very healthy. They are low in fat and full of nutrients such as calcium and potassium, not to mention fiber. They also contain protein.
This Spanish beans and rice dish is a simple, flavorful dish that contains no meat. It is ideal for any meal of the day and especially useful if you are trying to limit meat in your diet or enjoy a meatless meal. Eaten with rice, it makes an entire meal in a single bowl. There are a variety of other Spanish bean and rice dishes. Try a few different ones -- starting with this recipe -- to find out which types of beans and rice dishes you like best.
- 1 lb. (1/2 kg) dry beans (pinto, black, red, or pink)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 bay (laurel) leaf
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp. unbleached white flour
- 1 Tbsp. sweet Spanish paprika
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- Place the beans in a large pot of water and cover with water. Allow beans to soak overnight.
- Drain water from the beans and pour fresh water into a pot. Make sure that there is about 1 inch of water on top of the beans so they are completely covered. Bring the water to a boil. Add the bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer on medium.
- Chop the onion and the red pepper into small pieces. Cut the garlic cloves into quarters. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil into a frying pan and heat on medium. When the pan is hot, add the onion, pepper and garlic and brown for about 5 minutes.
- Once the onion is browned, add the flour and mix. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth from the bean pot to the frying pan and mix ingredients. To this “sauce,” add a tablespoon of paprika and mix thoroughly. Add to the pot of beans and stir.
- While the beans simmer, prepare the white rice.
- Continue to cook until beans are soft, but not mushy. Add salt to taste. Check the pot regularly. You may need to add water to the beans. Some prefer beans with broth more like soup, while others prefer thicker bean dishes. You can adjust the water as you see fit depending on the thickness of broth desired.
- Serve bean mixture in bowls on top of white rice.