I'm one of those people who reads a cookbook cover to cover. Before I even start to cook out of a book, I like to read all of the foreword and ingredient notes. You know those little asides and variations scribbled in the margins? Sometimes I think this is where you sometimes find the best bits. I've just finished reading A Modern Way To Eat. Monday's post where I outlined how you can make any grain / greens / vegetable bowl was inspired by one of the text sections in the book, and today I want to share a Mexican bean dip from another not-quite-a-full-recipe section of the book I've been snacking on the past few days.
Black beans have become a recent favourite of mine. I cook them into chilli, and find a way to add them into most of the Mexican food I've been throwing together of late. You can pick them up in the ethnic section of most supermarkets (I get mine in salted water, and I buy in bulk when they're on special offer), but I warn you that they don't last long out of the can; try to (like in this recipe) use an entire can the day you open them.
This dip is great for lunch (serves two), or with a couple of margaritas or Coronas on a Saturday night before digging into a big pan of Homemade Fajitas (serves 4). Depending on what sort of mood I'm in, I like to serve with toasted pieces of pitta, or with carrot sticks. You can mix up the toppings too, to add a bit more interest with each bite. Anything of a Mexican persuasion that is fresh or crunchy goes.
- 1 x 400g (14 oz) Tin of Black Beans
- 1/2 Green Chilli, plus extra for topping
- Large handful Fresh Coriander (including the stalks), plus extra for topping
- Zest of 1/2 a Lime
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- Generous Handful Sunflower Seeds, plus extra for topping
- Good Glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for topping
- Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a small food processor, whizz together the black beans (drained and rinsed), green chilli (deseeded and roughly chopped), coriander, lime zest, lime juice, maple syrup, sunflower seeds, olive oil and a generous seasoning of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until your desired consistency (I like it quite smooth, but still with a bit of bite). Taste to see if you need any more salt. You may want the dip a little looser; if so, add a little water before blitzing again. Spoon into a serving dish, and top with fresh coriander leaves, a few more pumpkin seeds, a generous drizzle of oil and a little bit more chopped green chilli.
I suppose that this is yet another one of those recipes that count as 'healthy' for January (as everyone seems rather obsessed by health food at the moment), but you actually could not imagine making in any other way. For those of you with different eating requirements too, the tip itself is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Not bad, right?