First of all,Â I have very exciting news — I am one of the judges for Click! this month.Â February’s theme was “flour,” and the other judges and I have narrowed the entries down to the top 25, to be voted on by you for the reader’s choice award!Â So go here and cast your vote!Â The entries are a great, great group, with some very unique and exceptionally droolworthy photos.
Second, this recipe.Â Do you know that feeling where you read a recipe in a cookbook and think, I’m going to make that?Â Of course.Â And then, that later feeling where you sit down to make the dish, and realize you only remember one or two of the key ingredients from the book?Â I know, right?Â And then that “what the heck” feeling, where you figure, I’ll just make up my own version with the two or three of ingredients I remember, and anything else I think would work!Â
I found a recipe for “red bean dip” in Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of Healthy Cooking a long time ago, and was struck by the fact that it didn’t use red beans at all.Â Instead, it used pinto beans and tomato sauce to achieve a lovely pinkish-red color.Â Hmmm, I thought.Â I’m going to make this.Â
But I am apparently the laziest person on earth, because rather than get the cookbook down off my shelf, I decided to experiment, working off of the pinto-beans-and tomato-sauce combination, rather than actually follow the recipe.Â I’ll chalk it up to creative genius…
My version turned outÂ very flavorful and a little bit spicy, with the raw garlic and chili powder.Â If I’d had some on hand, I would have added some chopped jalapeno peppers, just for fun.Â
Red Bean Dip
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained as much as possible
1/3 cup good-quality tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, if desired)
1 tsp fleur de sel or coarse sea salt
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
5 slices spelt or other whole-grain bread, toasted
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
2. Cut the crusts off each slice of bread. Cut each slice diagonally, twice, into four triangles. Serve dip in a bowl with bread to dip, or as individual appetizers, above.
Makes about 2 cups of bean dip.