One party-goer thought it was bacon that made it so tasty. I sensed a smoked salmon flavor. Others just said it was good. So it seems the Smokey Black Bean Dip (incidentally, completely vegan) was a hit.
I was surprised because, out of a mixture of laziness and arrogance, I hadn’t looked up a recipe before I started making this dish. I rarely look up recipes. Sometimes (okay, often), I don’t like the improvised result, and the dish requires so many tastings, minutes of deliberation, and adjustments, that I could have pored over a dozen tried-and-true recipes by the time I get it up to par.
Luckily, in the case of this dip, everything worked out. The dish didn’t even require much tasting! I admit I did peek at The Joy of Cooking, though, and added the lemon juice because of a black bean and salsa dip I saw.
Give it a try, and see if you can sense the bacon/lox flavor. It’s worth it just to experience that odd pairing of nuances.
Smokey Black Bean Dip
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped (optional… use less onion if employing this ingredient)
1 garlic green, sliced thin (the things that look like large scallions and are appearing now at farmer’s markets, optional)
1 chipotle pepper, packed in adobo sauce (the Secret Ingredient!)
2 Tbs. abobo sauce
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3 cups cooked black beans (2 cans), drained
Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a skillet set to medium-high heat, and sauté onion for a few minutes until beginning to brown. Turn heat down to medium-low and allow to caramelize, stirring occasionally, until reduced and very soft. Toward the end of the caramelizing, turn up the heat a little and add the garlic, as well as the shallot and garlic green (if using). Sauté all together until browned and soft.
In a blender or food processor, combine all the remaining ingredients except the beans. Process until almost pureed. Add the beans and puree all together. Chill for a few hours, then serve garnished with cilantro (if desired).
Great with tortilla chips or crackers. This would probably spice up a burrito or nachos nicely, too.
Note: I have to extend my thanks to Ms. Mango & Tomato for the photo idea. She’s my inspiration for shooting the raw ingredients–plus I forgot to bring my camera to the party where the final product was served!