Black Bean Dip
I just got back from a family adventure in Costa Rica, where we rafted through the jungle, came face-to-face with monkeys, sloths and toucans, zip-lined over the rainforest (okay, I didn’t do that but my kids and husband did!) and — best of all — ate lots of delicious Costa Rican food. From homemade corn tortillas to rice and beans to empanadas, we tried so many native dishes that I can’t wait to recreate at home and share with you. First up, this creamy black bean dip. Admittedly, it’s not going to win a beauty contest, but it’s so flavorful, healthy and easy to make, you won’t care.
The secret is using lots of onions, garlic, jalapeños, and fresh lime juice to boost the flavor. I also like to add lots of fresh cilantro but if you don’t care for it, it’s perfectly fine to leave it out.
Before we get to the recipe, a few words on jalapeño peppers. Two might seem like a lot, but I don’t use the seeds, which is where most of the heat is. The dip has a little kick, but it’s not spicy. If you like heat, you can add some of the seeds but go easy — you can always add more at the end. Also, be sure to either wear gloves or wash your hands very well after handling jalapeños, and never touch your face while you’re chopping — if the juice comes in contact with your eyes, it will sting something awful!
Begin by cooking the onions, garlic and jalapeños in olive oil until very soft, about ten minutes. Notice that I leave the garlic in fairly large chunks; if you chop it too finely, it will burn.
Meanwhile, rinse the black beans.
Combine the beans with onion mixture, salt, cumin, lime juice, water and fresh cilantro in a blender or food processor.
Purée until almost smooth. If you’re using a blender, you may need to stop and stir it a few times.
Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with more fresh chopped cilantro and a lime wedge if desired. That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!
Black Bean Dip
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped*
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more if desired
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about ten minutes. Do not brown.
- Transfer the cooked onion mixture to a blender or food processor and add the black beans, salt, cumin, lime juice, water and cilantro. Blend until smooth (if you're using a blender, you may need to stop and stir a few times to help it out). If the dip is too thick, add more water or lime juice, little by little, to thin it out. Taste and adjust seasoning, then transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm, cold or room temperature with tortilla chips.
- *Most of the heat from the jalapeños is in the seeds and ribs, so leave those out. If you like a spicier dip, reserve the seeds and add them little by little when you're blending the dip.