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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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    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

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