Cuban Black Bean Patties with Pineapple Rice and Fennel-Radish Salad with Queso Fresco

By Jennifer

Cuban Black Bean Patties with Pineapple Rice and Fennel-Radish Salad with Queso Fresco

Both of these recipes are new ones for me, and I’ll tell you, the black bean patties were delicious.  I toned them down so my kids would eat them (I’ll tell you where I changed the recipe) and my 9 year old ate more than I did…next time I’m doubling it!  Next time I’m also going to make the black bean mixture ahead and chill it for a while to make the patty step a little less smushy and sloppy.

Cuban Black Bean Patties with Pineapple Rice – adapted from Cooking Light

Pineapple Rice

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • good handful of cilantro, chopped

Cook the rice according to your rice cooker directions or the directions on the bag.

Sauteing pineapple

In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium-heat, add the pineapple and cook until it starts to brown.

Pineapple rice

Remove from heat, and when the rice is ready, toss in the pineapple and cilantro.

Black Bean Patties

  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (this was supposed to be with jalapeno peppers)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • peanut oil
  • fat-free Greek plain yogurt or sour cream

In a small food processor, blend together 1/2 cup of beans and the egg white.

Partially mashed black beans

In a bowl, partially mash the remaining black beans and stir in the cumin, salt, processed bean/egg mixture, cheese and onion.

Black bean mixture

(If possible, chill in the fridge for an hour or so.  When I made the recipe in one go, as directed, the patties were sticky and sloppy, though tasty!)

Dredging patties in cornmeal

Dredge both sides in cornmeal.  Heat 1 – 2 TBS peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook patties for about 4 minutes per side, or until browned.

Frying patties


Serve on top of the rice with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top.

Fennel-Radish Salad with Queso Fresco – adapted from Mark Bittman’s Fennel-Jicama Salad recipe from the New York Times Magazine

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 6 – 7 radishes (original recipe calls for 1/2 pound jicama, which my grocery store rarely carries)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • generous 1/2 cup of crumbled queso fresco

Chopping fennel

Trim bottom of fennel bulbs, discard outer layer if bruised, halve lengthwise, cut out the leafy heart, then cut in half crosswise and thinly slice.  Slice the radishes into half-moons.  Toss together the fennel, radishes and jalapeno.

Tossing salad

Add olive oil and lime juice and toss well.  Before serving, gently toss salad with the queso fresco.


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