makes about 1½ cups

Don’t let its mild-mannered appearance fool you—this bean dip is one hot number thanks to the addition of fiery harissa (page 176), a Tunisian sauce made with hot chiles, garlic, and spices. For a tamer version, omit or cut back on the harissa sauce. Prepared harissa is also available in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty grocers.
1 clove garlic, crushed

1 (16-ounce) can Great Northern beans or

other white beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice,

plus additional to taste

1½ teaspoons harissa sauce (page 176),

or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon finely minced scallions

Mince the garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients except the scallions and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with minced scallions sprinkled on top. note: You can serve this dip as soon as it is made, or cover it and refrigerate for an hour or two to allow the flavors to intensify.