Monday, March 11, 2013

Gallo Pinto aka Costa Rican Breakfast

I'm usually a French toast kind of gal when it comes to favorite breakfast dishes, but after Curtis and I spent our honeymoon in Costa Rica we were both hooked on their traditional rice and bean breakfast: Pinto Gallo. When we came home from our trip, we created our own version we call "Costa Rican Breakfast" that's more of a hash and it's one of our favorite meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It's simple, you just need rice, black beans, whatever veggies you have on hand, a few spices and eggs cooked your favorite way! It never tastes quite the same any two times. And we always have this with a steaming cup of coffee (notice our faded coffee mug we brought home from Costa Rica that we've been drinking out of for 6+ years) so we feel like we're back in Costa Rica.

Every year for Christmas my mom gives us a big bottle of Salsa Lizano, a Costa Rican condiment that makes this dish. It's available at Mexican grocery stores like the Latin Merchant at Pike Place Market. The salsa is a nice combination of tang and good spices, so when we don't have it I just add a few shakes of a balsamic based salad dressing (for the tang) and some hot sauce.
Six weeks old and chillin' while mom & dad cook breakfast
We made this for breakfast on Thursday in celebration of Graham turning six weeks old. I always make a big batch so we have leftovers and that night we used the veggie/bean mixture in our fish tacos when Beauty Jolie came over to meet Graham.
Having a cuddle with Beauty Jolie 

Costa Rican Breakfast

Rice, cooked (we use Thai Jasmine rice, but brown or any kind will work!)
Black Beans
Onion, chopped
Bell pepper, chopped
A variety of veggies, chopped (can include celery, sweet potato, kale, carrots, broccoli, spinach ... just throw in whatever you have on hand!)
Spices such as cumin, coriander and Salsa Lizano
Eggs, fried or scrambled
Cilantro and hot sauce for condiments


First make a pot of coffee, then: 

1. Cook rice

2. Make a hash by combining all your chopped veggies with a can of black beans and season with your favorite seasonings. We use cumin, coriander, Salsa Lizano and Sriracha for spice.

3. Cook eggs to order
4. Top off your cup of coffee
5. Dish up rice and bean/veggie mixture

6. Top with a runny fried egg or scrambled eggs if you prefer.

Garnish with hot sauce and cilantro and we usually serve it on a bowl so we can break the egg and mix it all up.

7. Take a walk so you'll be hungry for your next meal!


  1. Wow, wow, wow! This looks really good. I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Happy 6 weeks Graham -- what a little muffin!

  2. Great post Emily! Love you! Need to come visit you and Graham soon. Can we have a cocktail in the middle of the day!?!?! :)

    1. I'd love a mid day cocktail and a visit! Gotta take advantage of my last few weeks of "vacation"!

    2. I'd love a mid day cocktail and a visit! Gotta take advantage of my last few weeks of "vacation"!

  3. Great post and recipe suggestion! I like the idea of something simple that can come together quickly. Also, nostalgia is always the best ingredient.

  4. I can't get enough of Graham! Keep it coming.