We used to eat a lot of hummus. I'd always make a huge batch and we'd eat it for many days in a row. Then we got sick of it.
After a several month hiatus, I thought, hey, how about bean dips made from other beans?! Duh! There are endless possibilities for type of bean (or other legume), seasonings, consistency, and even what you dip in it or spread it on. So here's one of those variations. I was inspired by this recipe, but altered it slightly. I know it seems like a lot of steps, but most of it is hands-off time. It's actually quite simple!
Roasted Garlic Black Bean Dip
1 head of garlic (you won't use the whole thing)
1 1/2 c. dry black beans (or about 4 cups cooked/canned and drained)
apple cider vinegar
1 t. (or so) unrefined sea salt
1 t. (or more) cumin
1 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
a few dashes cayenne pepper
fresh cilantro to taste (optional but tasty)
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (a few tablespoons)
splash of water to achieve desired consistency
lemon or lime juice to taste
(note: this cooking method for the black beans works for any type of bean.)
1) Soak the beans. The day before you want to make this, soak your beans in about three times the amount of water as beans (so, 4 1/2 cups water for 1 1/2 c beans, or cook extra beans to freeze for a future meal!). You can do this in a crock pot or large saucepan/dutch oven. Add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and stir. On the stovetop: heat to a simmer, then turn off and let soak 7-24 hours (the longer the better). In the crock pot: heat on high for 1/2 hour or as long as it takes to heat the mixture. Then turn off and let soak 7-24 hours.
2) Cook the beans. After they've had a nice long soak, drain and rinse them, and put back in the pot with about double the amount of water as beans. On stove: bring to boil, skim off the foam with a slotted spoon, and lower heat slightly - you want them to keep boiling, so don't lower it too much. Cover partially (put the lid on the pot slightly askew so it's not sealed tight. Skim the foam whenever you see it. Keep you eye on them to make sure they are not boiling dry, and add more water as needed. If you add more water, bring them back up to a boil. Simmer until tender, 1-2 hours (or longer if the beans are older). In crock pot: cook on high, covered, for one hour, then turn down to low. Skim foam if you see any. Cook until tender, which will take several hours. (sometimes I do this overnight.)
3) Roast your garlic. Sometime during steps 1 and 2, if your oven is on anyway for something else use the opportunity to roast your garlic. Preheat the oven to 400 F, or if it's at a different temperature adjust the time accordingly. Peel away outer layers of the head of garlic, and cut off the top 1/4 inch or so, exposing individual cloves. Place on a square of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly, place in oven, and roast for about 1/2 an hour, until cloves are slightly soft. Let cool enough to handle, and then squeeze them out if their skin. You will only need a few cloves for this recipe, so use the rest however you want to. Spread on toast, or just eat them with a fork. Yum!
4) Make the dip. Now, let your beans cool slightly, drain them, and place in food processor along with salt, cumin, nutritional yeast (if using), cayenne, and cilantro. Add a few of your roasted garlic cloves (start with 2 or 3, add more to taste), a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of water. Process until pureed but slightly chunky (or longer if you want it extra smooth). Taste, and add more seasonings or garlic or oil or water...depending on what you think it needs. If you want it to have a little more "zing", add some fresh lemon or lime juice. Process again to incorporate.
Now decide how you want to eat it. Spread it on crackers, or use as a dip for fresh vegetables or tortilla chips. Or spread it in half of a tortilla, add cheese, fold in half and cook on a skillet until cheese is melted. Or, do what we did. Toast some bread. Butter it. Spread it with the bean dip, add sliced cheese, and cook under the broiler to melt the cheese. Add sliced avocado, and sprinkle extra cumin on top. Be creative. Enjoy!