Refried Bean Dip

MAKES: At least 8 servings

TIME: 10 minutes with cooked beans

A basic bean dip that’s great with tortilla chips, though you could serve it with almost anything: raw sliced vegetables; grilled, broiled, or fried tofu cubes; pita, toast, or crackers you name it.

Use 3 cups cooked pinto or other beans if you don’t have Twice-Cooked (Refried) Beans on hand, but be sure to increase the seasoning.

1 recipe Twice-Cooked (Refried) Beans About

1 cup bean-cooking liquid or vegetable stock, or as needed

1/2 cup minced red bell pepper

1/2 cup minced onion

1/2 cup drained diced peeled tomato (optional)

1 tablespoon minced fresh chile (like jalapeo or Thai), or to taste, or cayenne or hot sauce to taste

1 teaspoon red wine or other vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put all but 1 cup of the beans in a food processor or blender. Add enough bean-cooking liquid to start the pure.

Lightly mash the remaining beans by hand, using a fork or potato masher; combine with the pured beans. Stir in the bell pepper, onion, tomato if you’re using it, chile, and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning; thin with more liquid if necessary. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature or reheat gently before serving.

Variations

Fast Bean Dip. Save a few minutes and some chopping by using prepared salsa: Substitute 11/2 cups Fresh Tomato Salsa or Fresh Tomatillo Salsa for the bell pepper, onion, tomato, chile, and vinegar.

Creamy Bean Dip. Use sour cream for a richer dip; yogurt for a tangy and lower-fat dip: Substitute sour cream or yogurt for the bean-cooking liquid or stock.

Cheesy Bean Dip. Easy-melting cheeses work best here; harder cheeses must be grated more finely: Add about 3/4 cup grated cheese, like cotija, cheddar, or Monterey Jack. After Step 1, gently heat the beans over low heat; stir in the cheese until melted. Proceed with the recipe and serve hot or warm.