“I kind of forget about plantains, but I could eat them every week,” David said after our second meal of plantain and black bean burritos.
He’s right. Somehow plantains fall to the background. The little basket where they rest at the market is tucked away from my usual grocery store produce route. I can go months without making them. But whenever I have them, it feels like a mini celebration. They’re like that friend that you bump into downtown, immediately start talking and laughing, and then wondering, “Why aren’t we hanging out all the time? We should be best friends.”
They’re a fruit that can slide right into dinnertime. And while we don’t eat loads of fried stuff, having a few fried ripe plantains on the side or stuffed into a burrito takes up the fun quotient in a meal by at least 50%.
It’s funny how one small addition can make such a big difference. A black bean and rice burrito is standard. It’s nice and all. It’s the cardigan sweater of meals. But stuff that baby with plantains? Now you’ve got a meal worth talking about.
This plantain and black bean burrito has been on my recipe to do list for years. It stems from a visit to Sage Vegan Bistro in Los Angeles, where I ordered their Spicy Brazilian Burrito. The big draw for that particular order was that the burrito came with fried plantains inside, but sadly, they were forgotten. I remember digging around in the rolled tortilla as if I was looking for a favorite necklace in my jewelry box. Alas, they were nowhere to be found, which meant that I’d wasted one of my precious few LA meals on a bean and rice burrito.
But now the situation has been remedied. I’m happy to say that the plantain and black bean burrito was totally worth the wait.
Savory black beans, rice for staying power, sticky sweet fried plantains, and a hefty dollop of guacamole. It’s that balance of flavors that makes each bite a surprise, making it a meal that should be in your regular rotation. You can giddily catch up on old times and wonder why you don’t do this more often.
Never made plantains from scratch? Check out this post on how to fry plantains. Remember, for sweet plantains you want to make sure that the peel is dark with plenty of spots. A completely yellow peel means that the plantain will taste more like a potato than a banana. That’s fine and all, but not really what makes this burrito sing.