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Recipe: Rustic Italian Bean “Dip”

rustic beansMy friend and student Gwen asked me to give her this recipe today. It goes over extremely well when I bring it to gatherings.

Coarsely-blended beans, olives and Italian seasonings meld together into a wonderful mixture. Use it as a dip for pita or corn chips, pair it with eggs at breakfast or substitute for refried beans in tostadas or burritos.

I make a lot and then freeze some for later. I think it tastes better after freezing, somehow the flavors bloom with time.

There are many ingredients in this recipe, but the actual preparation takes almost no time.

Rustic Italian-Seasoned Bean “Dip”
3 (15-oz) cans Pinto beans (or one larger can, ~ 3lb)
1 (15-oz) can Black (California) Olives (optional, but it brings a lot of flavor to the mix)
1/4c to 1/3c Tomato Paste (or a small can- I buy qt jars at a Halal/Mideastern market and freeze ahead of time)
3/8 c Water
3/8 c (6 Tbsp) Juice from Olives (or more water and a few dashes of salt)
1/4 c Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Basil
Optional: 1/2 tsp Thyme or 1/4 tsp Rosemary, crushed

rustic beansDrain and rinse beans. In a large bowl, place all ingredients. With stick blender, blend until chunky but fully blended.

Chill or heat. Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread, wrapped in any tortilla or lawash you like, or wrap in a clear rice/tapioca “spring roll wrapper” from the Asian market. OR serve with eggs and avocados for a hearty brunch!

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