In South American cooking, black beans are often paired up with plantains. They are blended together in tamales, pupusas, and empanadas. Here is an easy way to experience this same sweet and savory combination. Black Bean and Plantain Quesadillas are very substantial, and just one per person will make a hearty meal when paired with a nice salad.
- 2 ripe plantains
- 1 T canola oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 – 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
- salt to taste
- 6 whole wheat tortillas
- 8 oz shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (leave a few sprigs to use as a garnish)
- limes, salsa, and sour cream
- Wash plantains and, leaving them in their skins, cut them into fourths crosswise.
- Simmer them in boiling water for 20 minutes.
- While the plantains are simmering, heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onion and jalapeno until tender.
- Add the cumin, chili powder and tomato and simmer another minute or two.
- Add the black beans, and salt the bean mixture to taste, stirring until bubbly.
- Drain and peel the plantains (reserving the cooking liquid). Use tongs to handle them if they are too hot.
- Mash them in a food processor or by hand until smooth, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid if needed to loosen them up.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray or oil a large baking sheet.
- Spread each tortilla evenly with 1/6 of the mashed plantains.
- Top each with 1/6 of the beans and cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- Fold the quesadillas in half and bake about 15 minutes or until heated through and golden.
- Serve with lime slices, salsa, and sour cream. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.