Caribbean Black Beans With Sauteed Plantains 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jan 8, 2018

This super-simple technique spikes canned black beans with fresh juices, garlic and chile, then tops them with sweet plantains. Look for the ripest, blackest plantains you can find; they're softer and sweeter than the unripe, starchy, green or medium-ripe yellow ones.

Serve with rice, if desired.

To read the accompanying story, see: This black bean dish will make you forget how cold it is outside.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 2 large ripe plantains (mostly or all black)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • Two 15-ounce cans no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves


Trim the ends from the plantains. Cut the fruit into 2-inch chunks. Use a paring knife to slit the peels lengthwise in several places on each piece. Carefully remove the peels and discard them. Cut each plantain chunk in half lengthwise.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the plantains -- working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook, turning once, until quite browned but not burned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the plantains to a plate and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the garlic and the jalapeño to the empty skillet. Cook (medium heat), stirring constantly, just until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the beans, orange juice and lime juice and cook, stirring often, until the beans are heated through and have absorbed most of the juices, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.

Spoon the beans into individual bowls or plates. Top each portion with sauteed plantains and serve.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends," by Jack Bishop (Houghton Mifflin, 2004).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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