'New Leaf Pilaf': A bright, herbaceous one-pot bean and rice dish
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Vivian Howard's one-pot pilaf was inspired by a family meal a Dominican prep cook prepared in a cafe where Howard once worked as a butcher.
This quick-to-put-together pilaf of black beans, rice, cilantro stems, toasted cumin garlic and lime Citrus Shrine is a one-pot meal on its own, or could be served as a side dish to carnitas or a roast.
From “This Will Make It Taste Good: A New Path to Simple Cooking,” by Vivian Howard (Voracious, 2020).
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 quarters Citrus Shrine preserved lime rind, white pith removed, cut into strips
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup chopped cilantro stems
3 cups chicken broth or water
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a 12-inch oven-proof skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rice, cumin, garlic and Citrus Shrine strips. Sauté for about a minute, ensuring the rice gets toasted a bit and the cumin grows aromatic.
Stir in the salt, black beans, cilantro stems and broth. Bring that up to a simmer and transfer the skillet to the middle rack of your oven. Bake for 30 minutes. The rice will have absorbed the broth and the pilaf will mostly be done.
To gild the lily, put the skillet back on your stove over medium heat. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil around the edges of your skillet and let the pilaf sit there undisturbed for 2 minutes. The rice on the bottom will crisp up and give the pilaf a variety of textures. Serve warm.