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Roasted Rainbow Bean Dip

February 3, 2011

My household is very sad about probably missing the Super Bowl this year. I say “probably” because the BBC website is giving mixed messages about whether and where it will be aired. Regardless, we’re planning to make up for it by watching Little Giants.

Personally, I’m not too broken up about it, but that’s only because my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday is the food, which I can more or less replicate anywhere in the developed world. The whole super bowl “menu” is basically a list of things that, as an adult, you only get to eat at parties: meat on a stick, cheese-stuffed jalapeños, and mountains of chips.

Of course, I remember countless afternoons in my teen years during which my brother and I would microwave a bowl of refried beans with cheese on top and then go through a bag of chips in front of the TV. We’re classy like that.

I have evolved since then, and my bean dip has too. It now involves more ingredients and more steps, but the basic premise is the same. It’s spicy, hearty, and topped with cheese. This also makes a tasty vegetarian sandwich spread or quesadilla filling.

This bean dip starts with roasting some peppers and onions. Put them under a broiler for about 10 minutes until the skin is charred, then put them in a covered bowl to steam for another 15 minutes.

No surprises here: bean dip involves beans. I used my mini-chopper to puree them, but you could also do this by hand.

Puree the beans into a smooth paste-like consistency. My chopper is tiny, so I did it in a few batches.

Mince a chipotle pepper into oblivion. This is an excellent way to work out your aggressions and stain your cutting board.

Peel the bell peppers and cut them into manageable chunks.

Remove the bean-puree to a bowl and add peppers to the food processor. Give it several pulses until you have bell pepper confetti. (Again, you can also do this by hand.)

Do the same with the onions and mix it all together with the beans.

Mix in some cumin, chili powder, lime juice, salt and pepper and transfer it to an oven-safe vessel. Ideally, you’d have a cute little casserole dish or ramekin, but this loaf pan will do.

It looks a little watery at this phase, but it will mostly evaporate as it bakes.

After about 25 minutes in the oven, the beans should be warmed-through. Add cheese on the top. I used cheddar, but this would be delicious with pepper jack, queso fresco, etc.

You can also just skip the cheese for a healthier vegan version.

Pop it back in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Scoop it up with some tortilla chips and, most importantly, don’t get caught double-dipping.

Roasted Rainbow Bean Dip

Makes 2½ – 3 cups of dip

2 cups black beans, cooked (or one 15-oz can), drained
1 red onion, roasted and peeled
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
½ yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
½ green bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 chipotle pepper, re-hydrated and minced into a paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Optional: ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
2. Mash beans with a fork or puree in a food processor into a smooth paste.
3. Either with a food processor or by hand, chop peppers and onions into confetti-sized chunks. Mix together peppers, onions, bean puree and chipotle.
4. Stir in cumin, chili powder, lime juice, salt and pepper.
5. Transfer to an oven-safe pan or casserole dish and bake until beans are heated through, about 25 minutes.
6. Sprinkle cheese over the top and return to the oven until the cheese bubbles and begins to brown, about 10 minutes.

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