Black Bean Puree
Author note: This recipe is the perfect make-ahead dish. It can be stored in the fridge for three to four days. It is a versatile recipe — serve it as a side dish, a condiment for tacos, a dip for tortilla chips or as a soup with spicy garlic shrimp (click here for recipe) on the side. Use less liquid for a bean dip or more liquid to serve it as soup. This recipe was inspired by Food and Wine Magazine’s Sherried Black Bean Soup.
1 ½ cups dried black beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, core removed and rough chopped
½ yellow onion, rough chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons if you prefer beans a little salty)
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped three to four times
- Rinse and sort the beans to remove any undesirable pieces. Then, in a large pan, soak the beans with 8 cups of cold water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight and cover with a lid.
- Drain the beans and then rinse with cold water. Place the beans back into the pan and cover with 6 cups of water.
- Bring the beans to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer the beans with the lid tilted for 1 ½ hours or until soft. Stir occasionally and , if necessary, add water to keep the beans submerged.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet. Add the pepper, onion and salt and saute until the vegetables are softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are softened add the oregano, paprika and cumin to the pan. Stir in the spices to evenly cover and coat the vegetables. Cook for an additional 2 to 4 minutes or until fragrant.
- When the beans are finished cooking and are soft and tender, drain all but 1 ½ cups of cooking liquid.
- Add the cooked vegetables and cilantro. With an immersion blender (or a food processor or blender) puree the beans until smooth.
- Once the beans are smooth, add the vinegar and heat through at a low heat for five minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Salt to taste and serve warm.