I hated beans growing up. I mean, I hated a lot of foods growing up (right, Mom?), but beans were pretty near the top of the list.
There is a famous picture in my family called “Sarah and the Bean,” in which my parents have put a single bean onto my plate and informed me that I cannot leave the table until I’ve eaten it. In the picture, faced with the unspeakable horror of consuming the bean, an adorable 5-year-old version of me is bawling her poor eyes out, big fat tears rolling down her cheeks. In hindsight, I’m actually shocked that my parents stopped laughing at me long enough to snap the picture.
I’ve grown up a little bit since then, and most of my food phobias have disappeared, including beans. I love beans now, and my husband and I eat them in some form at least once or twice a week. They’re a cheap, nutritious source of protein that can be flavoured in essentially unlimited ways. What’s not to like?
I concocted this recipe by standing in front of the refrigerator and evaluating its contents based on what might go well with black beans. I chose goat cheese, garlic, and pickled jalapeños for the dip itself, and decided to freshen it up a bit by topping the dip with a relish made from chopped avocado, peppers, tomatoes and chives. It’s like two layers of a seven-layer dip!
To serve the dip, I chose both pita chips and some raw vegetables and it paired equally well with each option. If you’re watching your calories, carbs or gluten, serving it with veggies is a perfect option, and you can be much more creative than just carrots and celery. Otherwise, it would also be tasty with crackers, toasted bread/baguette slices or tortilla chips.
The end result is slightly spicy and garlicky, and all the flavours will get stronger as the dip sits so don’t worry if you don’t taste the garlic right away – you will! For this reason I like to let the blended mixture sit for at least an hour before I serve it. The overall flavour is balanced by cumin, coriander, lemon juice and goat cheese, and the relish keeps each bite fresh and bright.
I’m glad I got over my hatred for beans. I was definitely missing out.
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- ½ cup goat cheese, plus extra for serving if desired
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños
- 2 tablespoons water
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½ cup bell peppers (I used red and yellow), diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, diced
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ an avocado, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- In a food processor, combine all dip ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed (the amount may vary depending on the beans you use, so I didn't want to specify an amount!).
- In a small bowl, combine all relish ingredients and toss to mix thoroughly.
- To serve, transfer the dip to a serving bowl. Top with additional crumbled goat cheese and the relish. I recommend waiting at least 1 hour before serving to let the flavours develop, but it isn't absolutely necessary. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, crackers and/or vegetables.