A bowl of refried beans topped with shredded cheese.
Improve Canned Refried Beans With One Aromatic Ingredient
Canned refried beans, while convenient, are less flavorful than their homemade counterparts. For a flavorful, aromatic, and authentic touch, consider adding epazote.
Epazote is an herb and a native crop essential to indigenous Mexican cuisine. Its unique and pungent flavor is something like a cross between oregano, anise, and mint.
Epazote is a common seasoning for pinto or charro beans, adding a zesty complement to their earthy richness. It also stands up well to the intensity of spices, chilies, and meat.
The herb consists of leaves and stems, both of which are used to season. The stems have the most concentrated flavor, while the leaves are subtle and eaten like a leafy vegetable.
You'll want to remove epazote stems from finished dishes due to their hard texture and bitter taste. The leaves will lose their intense flavor and wilt the longer they're cooked.