The first time I had this delicious black bean recipe was in 2007 at friends Jeff Berman and Sue Dandos’ home, they both love to cook and right away I asked if they would share the recipe.  To my surprise the recipe was from Gourmet Magazine , (final issue published was November 2009 ).  This recipe has become one of my go-to vegetarian dinners. I have made a few additions and changes along the way, I use a long grain brown rice and when in a rush canned beans and sometimes a spoonful of store-bought salsa and a big handful of sunflower seeds. Steamed spinach on top for my daily greens completes this dish.  So now I know why the recipe is called black beans and rice your way… this is my way.

We have eaten many delicious meals with Jeff and Sue but sometimes it is the simple food that you remember most.

Black Beans and Rice Your Way


  • Active time:45 min
  • Start to finish:2 1/4 hr (1 hr if using pressure cooker; includes making black beans)

For the roasted sweet-potato cubes:

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the rice and beans:

  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups Kemp’s black beans (when I don’t have time to soak the beans organic canned black beans work really well)

For the toasted pumpkin seeds:

  • 1 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas; not toasted)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


  • cubes of avocado tossed with lime juice; tomatillo salsa; lime wedges; chopped white onion; fresh cilantro sprigs

Roast sweet-potaote cubes:

  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

  • Toss sweet potatoes with oil and salt, then spread in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring and turning over once or twice, until tender and browned, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool rice while sweet potatoes roast:

  • Bring water, rice, and salt to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and cook, tightly covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Toast pumpkin seeds while reice is cooking:

  • Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick; preferably cast-iron) over moderate heat, stirring, until seeds are puffed and pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in oil and salt to taste.

To serve:

  • Reheat black beans, thinning with water if necessary, then serve along with rice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds, and accompaniments, each in a separate bowl.