I absolutely adore beans and rice. Delicious and hearty, when these two champions of the pantry come together, a winning combination is born. We are particularly fond of black beans with whole grain rice. Usually we pairing them with avocados and lots of spicy salsa. But I've been on a crazy pomegranate kick as of late, and thought I'd give a pomegranate sauce a try. Sweet rather than spicy, this delicious dinner is a new take on our traditional beans and rice.
Now I love a good spicy salsa and sliced avocado on these bad boys. But they are fabulously fresh when served with cilantro and lime juice. The bright flavors contrast with the hearty brown rice and meaty black beans for a fabulous base. I will eat a bowlful of this for lunch any day of the week. A quick zap in the microwave is all it takes to make your co-workers regret their choice in fast food.
A few weeks ago, I came across an amazing looking pomegranate shrimp sauce on Pinterest. I took inspiration from this and decided to make a simpler pomegranate reduction instead. The juice is so deliciously sweet and tart that no extra sugar is needed. Just add a few chili flakes and simmer until thickened. It is absolutely gorgeous when drizzled across the dish.
When explaining the concept of this dish to the hubs, he was a bit dubious. Particularly, the cilantro and pomegranate combination had him raising an eyebrow at me. But as soon as he took a bite, the other eyebrow raised to join the later in a look of surprised delight. He was particularly fond of the way the shrimp popped in this dish. The fruity pomegranate brings out their flavor while the beans and rice serve as a perfect neutral complement. This is a particularly great dish for leftover rice, taking only about 15 minutes after the rice is ready. Easy and fast enough for a week night, but pretty and fancy enough for company, you will be happy eating this in any setting.
Grilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Sauce & Black Bean Cilantro Rice
- 1/2 c pomegranate juice
- 1/8 tsp red chili flakes
- 8 oz raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp lime juice, divided
- 3/4 c brown rice, cooked
- 3/4 c black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- dash salt & pepper
Combine the pomegranate juice and chili flakes in a small saucepan and place over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce has thickened and has decreased in volume by about half, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat when thick and set aside.
While the sauce is reducing, combine the shrimp, minced garlic and half the lime juice in a bowl and stir together. Set aside to marinade while you prepare the rice.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown rice, black beans, cilantro, cumin and remaining teaspoon of lime juice. Stir together, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush generously with olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the shrimp and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until no longer opaque. While shrimp are cooking, heat the beans and rice in the microwave.
To serve, divide beans and rice between two plates and top with the grilled shrimp. Drizzle with the pomegranate reduction and serve hot. Top with pomegranate seeds and chili flakes, if desired. Fabulous with a glass of white wine.