White beans, black beans, red beans, lentils and pigeon peas. My husband and I have returned from a week in San Juan, Dominican Republic where I indulged in a legume lover's fantasy. Sure, there was swimming in the salty ocean and drinking Brahma beer under the banana huts at early day or rounds of mini golf after breakfast. And we did sip fresh coconut milk under a blazing sunshine while I lazily read a Colette novel on the balcony.
There were fierce card games and milky Santo Domingo coffee served at the tiled patio overlooking the blue-green ocean in the afternoon. Some early evenings we spent haggling at the market over local crafts. There were dinners of spicy shrimp and beer exclusively. And let's not forget the sugar cane and bonfire scented dreams as we slept heavily in our king size bed at night. But, I have to admit, I most looked forward to finding out what beans were on offer during each meal. I just spent a week eating the most delicious peas, beans and lentils ever.
I love a plate filled with vegetables, as do many Southerners. Hopefully these pictures will inspire your recipe collection as they will mine in the coming summer months. The Dominican diet is filled with beans, rice and vegetables such as tayota (chayote) and calabaza squash, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, peppers, onions and yuca (cassava). Melons, pineapple, papaya and bananas are some of the sweeter offerings on the island.
Beef with onions and peppers, black beans on rice, broccoli and carrots.
Lentils over rice, fried eggplant, grilled tomatoes with peppers and tayota squash with peppers.
Pigeon peas, green beans, fried sweet potatoes, okra, carrots and grilled tomatoes with peppers.
Breaded crab, broccoli, fried bananas, fried calabaza squash, fresh tomatoes with onions and white beans over rice.
Dessert: Tres leches cake, pineapple, cantaloupe and watermelon.
Breakfast: White beans, yuca with onions, tomatoes, salami and toast.
Breakfast: French toast with papayas in light caramel syrup and sausages.
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