Anna Jones' Arepas with Black Beans & Salsa Verde

As part of our #GetTogether campaign for July to encourage you to share moments around a table with friends and family again, we are sharing this simple, healthy and delicious recipe by Anna Jones from her new book, 'One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A greener way to cook for you, your family and the planet'. It's the perfect recipe to cater for a larger table.

This recipe has a special place in Anna's heart. "These are what we ate the day after we got married. One of the amazing people who cooked our wedding feast, Bea (@bmangobajito), is from Venezuela and she made the most perfect arepas – feather light but hearty enough to soak up a few wines from the night before. While we ate this for breakfast, these arepas could be eaten for any meal. Happy, happy food. Thank you, Bea, for sharing this recipe with me."

Arepas with black beans & salsa verde

Serves 4-6, with 10 Arepas


For the Arepas

300g fine cornmeal (I use the P.A.N brand) 

1 heaped teaspoon of salt 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

For the black beans:

1 teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

1 green chilli, finely chopped 

2 x 400g tins of black beans (or 500g homecooked beans) 

A large bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves chopped 

Zest and juice of 1 lime 

For the pickled red onions:

1 red onion, halved and very thinly sliced 

Juice of 1 lime 

Pinch of flaky sea salt 

For the Mexican salsa verde:

Zest and juice of 1 lime 

1 green chilli 

Small bunch of mint, leaves picked 

200g block of feta or vegan-style feta cheese 

3–4 tablespoons olive oil 

To serve

A small bunch of radishes and some thinly sliced limes for squeezing over.



1. Add the red onions to a small bowl with the juice of a lime and a pinch of sea salt, then scrunch together with your hands so they start to become a bright pink colour. Put to one side to lightly pickle.

2. To prepare the dough, place the corn meal, sea salt, oil and 400-450ml of boiling water into a bowl. Allow to sit for about a minute to let the water absorb into the flour a little. Then carefully mix the dough with your hands until combined. You want it to come together a bit like playdough. It shouldn't be crumbly. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes or up to 30 if you have time. 

3. To make the black beans, add a little olive oil to a medium frying pan and, once hot, add the cumin seeds, coriander stalks and paprika for 1 minute. Then add the black beans with the liquid from the can and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and then add the chopped green chilli and remaining coriander leaves. 

4. For the salsa verde, put 30g of the feta and half the coriander leaves into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until you have a deep green, slightly creamy salsa. Season to taste then set aside for serving. 

5. Once your dough has rested (it should clean the bowl and be easy to work with), pull off golf-ball sized pieces and form 8cm by 1cm thick patties (you should be able to make 10). Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and once hot add the arepas and put the lid on, cooking on a medium heat for 7 minutes on each side until they are golden brown on both sides. Place in a warm oven to keep warm while you continue to fry the rest of the aprepas. 

6. Finish the black beans with the chopped green chilli and rest of the coriander leaves. Serve the arepas while they are warm, split open and fill with a spoonful of the black beans, some salsa, radishes, pickled red onions and a crumble of feta. 

This recipe is extracted from 'One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A greener way to cook for you, your family and the planet' by Anna Jones (Fourth Estate)

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