Skip to main content

Gallo Pinto

After eating gallo pinto - black beans and rice, Costa Rican-style - at a welcome brunch in Costa Rica, I muddled through a stilted conversation with Marta, the cook, maid, and general go-to gal for the hotel in which we stayed, and figured out what I need to buy at the market to make it. And, like most traditional recipes, I'm certain that everyone has their own version. Many other countries have their own version of this dish: Cubans make Moros y Cristianos; in El Salvador it's called casamiento; and in Peru they use kidney beans and call it tacu tacu. Whatever you want to call it, with the beans and rice it's a complete protein if you do not feel like making anything else for dinner!

This Costa Rican-inspired version has become a Mann family favorite. Marta told me to buy: black beans, white rice, boullion, chili powder, and garlic. Getting the 'garlic' portion of that recipe was comical.

I was standing in the doorway of her kitchen and she smiled at me, "ajo," she said. "Ajo," I repeated and shrugged my shoulders. You would think that was close enough to the Italian aglio that I would have been able to get that cognate. Maybe I was jet-lagged. She made the shape with her hands, "ajo." That was not helping. Finally, the doorman interjected, " an onion, but not." Ah, garlic! We were all relieved. And gallo pinto became a staple on our vacation table. Gallo pinto and eggs for breakfast, before our adventures. Gallo pinto and a protein, usually fish, for dinner.

Over the years, my recipe has changed based on what I have in the on-hand. Cook the rice either in water or boullion; tonight I used brown rice. Simmer the black beans till cooked in boullion with a bay leaf till fork tender. I caramelized turnip greens from my CSA box, added the cooked black beans, and seasoned with fresh oregano and pink Himalaya salt. Stir the cooked rice into the black beans. I add a splash of olive oil.

Tonight I served this with beer-braised mahi mahi and honeyed turnip salad.



  1. Oh Camilla, I haven't had this since I was in Costa Rica over ten years ago! It brings back such great memories! I'll have to make it for Jeff and the girls and perhaps plant the seed that another trip to Costa Rica is in order!

    Thank you for being a part of what made this week's "A Little Birdie Told Me..." linky party the best yet!



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur