Mother Earth Living

Bitters: Quick Black Beans

Explore and cook with the bountiful benefits of bitter herbs.
By Arthur O. Tucker, Ph.D., and Susan Belsinger
March/April 2004
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Serves 4
These beans are good to prepare when you are hungry and don’t have a lot of time. Serve them as a side dish, over nachos or roll them up in soft tacos or burritos with some grated cheddar.

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/3  cup chopped red or yellow onion
  • 2 to 3 serrano or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (19-ounce) can black beans or 2 cups cooked black beans with some liquid
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
  • About 6 to 8 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Salt, optional
  1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and sauté onion and peppers for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, stir and cook for another minute. Add beans, cumin and the smaller amount of bitters and stir. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Taste for seasoning; add a few more dashes of bitters or a little salt, if necessary.

Art Tucker, Ph.D., botanist at Delaware State University, is the co-author of The Big Book of Herbs (Interweave, 2000). Susan Belsinger is a culinary herbalist, food writer and photographer who has co-authored several cookbooks and writes for many national magazines.

Click here for the original article, Bitters: Beverages with Moxie.

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