This is one of the recipes I learned by watching my mama Tica, Maria, in the kitchen. For me, this recipe is all about sleepy mornings when the air is still cool and there’s a busy day ahead with the need for a breakfast that’ll last until evening.
Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica. Usually served for breakfast and made with the leftovers from the night before, it can be eaten at any time. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend eating it at any time. And also, all the time.
The flavors of this dish end up being more than the sums of their parts. The beans add a creamy texture. The cilantro adds a sharpness, although if you’re one of the people for whom cilantro tastes like soap,* it can easily be omitted.
I’m not a huge fan of cooked pepper, but when it’s diced really fine, the flavor soaks into the rice without having that ucky texture of cooked pepper. Maybe you don’t have that problem, in which case you can do a bigger chop.
1 cup cooked beans, preferably black
2- 2½ cups cooked rice
½ onion, chopped
1-4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ sweet pepper, minced (optional)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
1 pinch sugar
Salsa Lizano, to taste
Saute the onion, garlic, and pepper in a little bit of oil in a pan. Add the rice and beans, and mix well until heated through. Add a splash of Salsa Lizano, and mix some more. Add more Salsa Lizano if necessary. When seasoned to taste and heated through, remove from the heat, sprinkle a pinch of sugar and the cilantro over the gallo pinto. Stir the sugar and cilantro through and serve.
*so, so sorry