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gallo pinto

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was introduced to Costa Rican dish Gallo Pinto (rice and beans) in the Nicoya Peninsula while filming his TV programme Jamie Oliver's Superfoods. This traditional dish makes for a hearty breakfast or a delicious vegetarian lunch.

  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Recipe serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked black bean, plus 3/4 cup bean cooking liquid
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain white rice, cool
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 diced green bell pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaf
  • 8 coriander leaves finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

  1. In a large deep frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 2 minutes until transparent. Add the bell peppers and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Toss in the garlic and thyme, stir well to combine.
  2. Gently pour in the black beans and reserves 3/4 cup of bean cooking liquid into the pan. Stir well to combine without breaking the beans. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  3. Add in the rice, breaking up any clumps by hand.
  4. Stir the beans and rice mixture together so that all of the liquid coats the grains of rice, turning it slightly brown.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (To be authentic Costa Rican the recipe needs a lot of salt)
  6. Add in the finely chopped coriander, still well to combine.

You can visit the Nicoya Pensinula in our Explore and Relax in Costa Rica: Volcanoes to the beach or if you prefer to travel at your own pace our Self-drive Costa Rica: Coast to coast adventures holiday might be better suited.

Last updated: 31 May 2017

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  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

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    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

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    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

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    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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