Friday, December 18, 2015

#FoodieFriday: Black Bean Hummus #appetizer #vegetarian #vegan

I thought I'd treat you lovely readers to one of my own recipes today. I first had it at a friend's house, and I asked her for the recipe. She's a self-proclaimed "dump cook", i.e. she doesn't do much measuring and just adds things to taste, which can work out well for some folks but frustrates me to no end. I like to know amounts, and then I can play around with a recipe from there.

So, after much Googling for similar recipes and experimenting (no hardship, trust me--I enjoyed the taste-testing), I came up with a version of her Black Bean Hummus that I was extraordinarily happy with. 

Sorry, I've never taken a picture of the finished product, so here are two cans of beans from my pantry instead.

I'll be honest--the finished recipe isn't the most attractive thing. It's a grayish paste (think, well, hummus, but gray because of the black beans), and sometimes takes some convincing for people to try it. Serve it in a pretty bowl to help with the "eat with your eyes" thing.

Bonus: This recipe is vegetarian at the very least, and quite possibly vegan, so everyone at your party should be happy. I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, so I haven't verified this, so don't quote me. It's tasty and there is no meat or dairy, at any rate. You can likely make the whole thing with organic ingredients too (I just noticed that some spices at the store were organic). Do what works for you.

Some tips: 

The party-sized recipe makes a ton (3x the regular amount) so I pared it down for personal consumption--there are two amounts listed for each ingredient to make it easy. It also keeps for a while in the fridge, and I'd advise making it a day or two before to let the flavors blend.

I'd recommend making it in a good-sized food processor or a powerful blender. You'll need something that can power through the beans and other ingredients--it gets quite thick, and I take no responsibility for burning out your wimpy food processor in the midst of holiday celebration prep.

Tahini is ground sesame paste. It's kind of oily on top (like natural peanut butter) so give it a good stir before you measure it out. Please don't drain the oil; mix it in. You'll likely find it near the peanut butter or even in the international aisle. If you can't track it down, ask someone at your grocery store to help find it.

If you're averse to cilantro, try the recipe as written first. It's not overpowering. 

And yes, please use fresh lime juice. It might take a bit to get enough lime juice for the recipe, but it's worth it. I've done the "cheat" method and used bottled lime juice before; it's not the same and made me sad. Another tip: buy a bunch more limes than you think you'll need. Sometimes they're very dry inside; sometimes they're really juicy. It's the luck of the draw, really, so be prepared. Worst case, you can always use the extras in drinks, or to make some snazzy flavored water, or to prevent scurvy on your ocean voyages.

The ingredients are easily customized and more to taste than anything, but these are good starting points. The recipe is amazing as-is, but if you like more garlic, add more garlic. Love cilantro? Add more! You get the idea.

Though serving it with cut-up vegetables is good, my favorite vehicle for this hummus is blue corn tortilla chips.

Black Bean Hummus
Ingredients (party-sized recipe in parentheses):
2 cans of black beans, rinsed well and drained (6 cans for a party)
¼ C fresh-squeezed lime juice (3/4C for party)
3T + 1t tahini (10T for party)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (12 cloves for party)
pinch red pepper flakes (1/4 t or to taste for party)
2 T olive oil (6 T for party)
1 ½ t ground cumin (4 ½ t for party)
2 T cilantro, roughly chopped (1/3 C for party)
1 t salt (3 t for party) or to taste—can depend on how salty the beans are
1/4 t black pepper (1 t for party)


Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and process until a very smooth paste forms. Scrape sides and stir as necessary.  Serve with tortilla chips, bread sticks, bread slices, or a veggie platter.

Let me know if you make this! I'd love to know what you think.

xoxo Sarah

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