Dip Showdown: Gettin' Zingy Wit It Bean Dip

The Chow Bella staff can't stay out of the kitchen. In anticipation of the Super Bowl, we've used our culinary talents to compete in a showdown of dips. After Jonathan's heart-stopping, Nothing Left to Lose Beer Cheese, Claire's family-fancy, Don't Ask, Don't Tell Artichoke Dip, Claire's flurry of Curry Some Flavor Dip, and Sativa's well-taught, Teacher's Lounge Spicy Dip, we're putting a twist on a old classic with our Zingy Bean Dip.

Like You've Got Mail, Coldplay, and vacuuming, some things could stand a little more zing. Take bean dip, for example. Known as that shiny bump of black beans precariously perched over stale nachos and topped with a sad dollop of sour cream and dried bits of parsley, it's time this dip got a kick where it counts.

Our zingy bean dip promises to liven up an old, tired classic. The pinto beans are light, yet humbly flavorful, letting the lime, garlic, and cilantro roll all over your taste buds while the cumin and cayenne pepper give it the get-up-and-go. In the spirits of laziness, frugality and health, it's easy to make, easy on the wallet and all-natural. And -- bonus! -- if you've got a food processor, the whole shebang is done in half an hour. Thanks to Mollie Katzen and her Moosewood Cookbook for this one. Here's what you'll need:


- 2 cups of cooked pinto beans (1 15-oz. can), rinsed and well-drained
- 2 tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 medium-sized tomato, peeled and seeded (see helpful hint below)
- 1 to 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- A handful of parsley
- A handful of cilantro
- 3/4 tsp. of cumin
- 1 scallion, minced (optional)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of salt
- black pepper and cayenne, to taste

Whip it all together in a food processor or blender. Seriously, that's it.

Helpful Hint: To peel and seed and tomato, simply drop it into a pan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove it, and peel off the skin. Cut the tomato open; squeeze out and discard the seeds. Chop the remaining pulp.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with chips, vegetables, crackers, or warmed flour tortillas. Pair it with any salsa fresca for some serious appetizer activity.


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