Villa Verde’s beans are a classic Caribbean side dish that’s served with the Dominican restaurant’s entrees .
“They are amazing,” owner Yordanys Bastardo says. “They are very popular.”
Pinto beans are a staple in the Southern United States as well as the Caribbean, but each region prepares the beans differently.
Greenville residents may be familiar with Southern style pintos flavored with salt pork “fat back,” ham hocks, turkey neck bones or bacon dippings.
Villa Verde’s beans are flavored with “sofrito,” which Eridania Bastardo says is an aromatic mix of fresh herbs and spices used to season the beans. The sofrito ingredients include tomato paste, garlic, cilantro, salt, onions, and green and red peppers.
The sofrito is sauteed in a big, deep pot. The dried beans and water are added to the pot, and the mixture cooks for at least two hours until the beans have softened, Eridania says.
“You’ve got to try them,” she adds. “People who don’t usually like beans can’t stop bragging about how good they are.”
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