I seem to be having conflicting culinary points of view this week. So far, I have made an Asian inspired slow roasted salmon and steamed broccoli on Monday night as I felt that Harry and I were in dire need of some quality Omega-3’s. I also made up a pot of lentil stew because not only is it still cold here in Long Island (The Sun God is listening to me, I know it) but also I needed an easy to pack lunch for the rest of the week. Tonight, I went towards the sun by making a decidedly Latin American dish. I was in the mood to just throw something together and I wanted it to have a bright and fresh taste. On hand, I had a can of black beans, a bit of brown rice to cook, an almost too ripe plantain, some grape tomatoes, salad greens, and cilantro. I was not in the mood to cook anything complicated since I had just finished roasting Harry a lovely locally sourced chicken roasted over some root veggies and some pan gravy.
What I came away from the kitchen with was a lovely room temperature meal that could be served as a salad or wrapped in a tortilla as I did. I love plantains almost to the point of ridiculousness. I love frying them in wedges in some coconut oil, smashing them, and then frying them some more. I usually sprinkle them with a bit of salt and dip them in some guacamole or just squeeze some lime juice over them. Today I didn’t want to fry them and thought about how last night I slow roasted my salmon. Could I slow roast plantains too? I was rewarded with a lovely result! I know that there a many little steps here but it is really easy.
½ c brown rice
1 c. H20
½ tsp. salt
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil; add brown rice, salt, stir, and lower heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 45 min. Take off heat when done. I used about half this amount of rice so I put the leftovers in the freezer for another time.
1 (15 oz. can)
Drain and rinse well. Shake extra moisture off. That’s it.
1-2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced about ½ inch thick
1 tblsp coconut oil (melted) or x virg olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F
Toss sliced plantains with coconut/olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I used my seasoned cast iron grill pan but you could use a lightly oiled cookie sheet or any roasting pan you have. Put plantains in one layer and roast turning once for about 10 minutes. I didn’t really keep track of time so just keep checking them and flip them when they have pretty grill marks and start becoming tender. I drained mine on some on a brown grocery bag and let them cool. Season with salt and pepper if you think they need it. Cut into smaller pieces and try not to eat them all quite yet!
1 ½ tsp cumin
Sprinkling of olive oil
Big handful of grape tomatoes, quartered
Big handful of cilantro (or as much as you’d like), chopped
Salad greens (I used a mixture of arugula and baby spinach)
Salt and pepper to season if you want extra
In a large bowl, stir rice and black beans together. Add cumin, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of olive oil to moisten. Throw in the cilantro and give a final toss. Assemble on top of salad greens with tomatoes or lay salad greens on a warm tortilla and put down a layer of salad greens and put the rice mixture over it with the tomatoes. I sprinkled mine with a bit of chipotle hot sauce and wrapped it up.