Unfortunately the food has nothing to do with any parallel in my life. It would be nice to be down in Cuba with the warm winter sun and the slower pace of life and the decaying grandeur of it all. Instead I’m in a Silicon Valley winter with rain and cold and wet, cold, aggressive people making life miserable. The beans took all that away for an hour or so.
I say kind of cuban because, well, they have almost nothing to do with Cuba except that there are some Cuban flavors, some Cuban attitude and because I felt like it. They were accompanied by a vegetable stew using carrots, turnips, onions, turnip green stems, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, a little hot pepper, brown sugar and salt, served on top of basmati rice. The stew wasn’t a big success, but the beans were.
Cuban Mustard Beans
I used canned beans because this was a weeknight and I was in a hurry, but also because canned beans are perfectly OK in the right place. So…
heat up a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pot. Drop in about an eighth of a teaspoon of chili flakes. Stir in the tops of a small bunch of greens (I used turnip tops but mustard greens would be particularly good). Once they are wilted, add about two chopped cloves of garlic and let them cook for a minute. Then add the beans. I used one can of black beans and one of Jackson Wonder (a kind of broad bean). Now stir in a teaspoon of ground cumin and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Add salt to taste and let it all get hot. Then serve.