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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 Black Bean Dip 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.
This really easy, Mexican-inspired vegan black bean and sunflower seed dip is the perfect healthy dip to serve with pitta and crudités.
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.
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