Recipe 4: Rice and Beans with Brown Butter Onion Jam and Toasted Nuts

Take your time. Approximately 1 night + 2 hours



  • Salt. A lot of salt.
  • 1 cup dry beans. (If using canned beans, drain the beans, skip the soaking step, and boil beans for 1/3rd the recommended time.)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • dry flavorings I like: dried herbs, paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes
  • wet flavoring I like: umami enhancement (I like fish sauce, but mushroom powder, liquid aminos, etc. are also great)

Onion Jam + Toasted Nuts (optional) :

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves pressed/minced/chopped garlic
  • 1 diced onion
  • dry flavorings: paprika + dried herbs
  • fresh flavoring: rosemary
  • wet flavorings: soy sauce and umami enhancement (fish sauce for me)
  • 2 tbsp sugar ( I used brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup nuts. I used pine nuts, but just use something you’re not allergic to or skip the nuts all together

Rice :

  • 1 cup of whatever rice you have around
  • bean broth!
  • extra water as needed

This is a long process, but at the end of it you’ll have a rich, nutty base that can be a whole meal on its own or support any vegetables and proteins you want to throw in later.

  1. Soak the beans in heavily salted water overnight (10-12 hours). I use a couple tablespoons of coarse kosher salt.
  2. Rinse the beans in the morning. Place into a pot covered by a couple inches of water and a visible cap of olive oil. Add umami enhancement, dry flavorings, and salt.
  3. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer uncovered for 60-90 minutes, until the beans have a creamy texture when you bite them. Don’t undercook your beans or they won’t be safe or pleasant. If using canned beans, bring to a boil in the seasoned water (basically a soup) and simmer for a half hour.
  4. While the beans are simmering, heat oil and butter in a pan while you dice the onion. Add the onion to the pan when the oil and butter mixture starts to brown.
  5. Cook the onions on low heat so that they absorb the fats. Add your flavorings, saving the fresh flavoring for last so that it doesn’t get overcooked.
  6. Sprinkle sugar on the onions. If too sweet, add more soy sauce and umami enhancement. When the onions are very soft, remove from heat and set aside. Don’t wipe down the pan. You want the flavors for the nuts
  7. Add more butter to the pan. When the butter is bubbling, add nuts. Watch your nuts carefully to avoid burning them. When they seem nicely toasted, mix them with the onion jam.
  8. When the beans are done, remove them from the broth and combine them with the onions and nuts. Save! Your! Broth! You can use bean broth for many things, but in this recipe you will be using it for the rice.
  9. Add enough rice to the pot so that there is only a couple inches of bean broth on top of it. Make sure it is spread in an even layer on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer in a covered pot. Check the rice after about 10-12 minutes to see if you need to add more water. Scrape the bottom of the pot and make sure the rice isn’t sticking. If you do add water, keep cooking the rice until it looks like the rice picture above and no longer has any crunch.
  10. Combine rice with everything else! This combination is great as a standalone meal or with most vegetables and proteins you could want to add.

You will doubtfully want to cook much for a couple days after making this, but I’m pretty sure you won’t need to do so. This recipe makes a substantial amount.

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