Sunday, October 10, 2010

Accidental Black Bean Dip

I have been feeling downright sanctified since we saw the Avett Brothers in concert Friday night. The Raleigh event was a big homecoming for the North Carolina band and, while they are internationally celebrated for their exceptional shows, this two-encore marathon really was powerful. So much so, that I have felt personally empowered ever since.

Yesterday, at the neighborhood year sale, I sold set of china with orange flowers (the height of mid-1980s suburban elegance) and a boxed set of gold-plated flatware (admit it, you've always wanted some) to a woman who was at least as happy to get them as I was to see them go. And a kid wearing a NC State T-shirt and a "Legalize It" necklace hauled off a battered sofa and paid us a few bucks for the love seat, which was still in decent condition, saving us the considerable hassle of hauling them to the dump. One can only wonder at their future use as fraternity furniture.

The magic has continued today. Fueled by toasted bagels topped with melty cream cheese, locally smoked trout and one of the last Mr. Stripeys of the season, I have been cooking more or less non-stop, stuffing our refrigerator with make-ahead's I've never made before and using a recipe for just one. I am working my way through Lidia Bastianch's butternut squash gnocchi, featured in the current Bon Appetit, which we will coat in sage browned butter for dinner. To stuff some lovely red bell peppers Tim snagged cheap at the farmer's market, I have simmered garlic-scented black beans, cooked farro and sauted a colorful mix to make an appealing vegetarian filling.

More on those later. What I aim to share right now is a practically accidental creation that even Graham, who eyed it with suspicion, admitted was delicious. Made with about a generous cup of extra black beans, it is a great dip -- much better than goopy processed ones from the store. It's good with tortilla chips, but I'm thinking about making quick quesadillas topped with grated manchego. I also think it would be quite nice warmed and dolloped in the center of a zesty tomato soup.

1 clove garlic
2 tbps shallot (or red onion)
1-1.5 cups black beans (rinse well if using canned)
1/4 cup favorite salsa (such as Newman's Own peach)
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
salt, pepper
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, hand chopped

Add garlic and shallot or red onion to work bowl of small food processor; whirl until minced. Add next five ingredients and pulse until chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whirl until until desired consistency.

Transfer to small bowl and add the chopped cilantro, stir to blend. Adjust seasonings or add hot sauce if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment