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Pinto Bean and Pasilla Pepper Dip

Serves 8


    This rich bean dip is delicious warm or cold. It’s also a good source of protein, iron, and potassium. A single serving of this dip will help Dad get 19 percent of the recommended daily value of dietary fibre. Dried pasilla peppers impart a smoky, earthy fruitiness balanced with mild spice from a hint of hot paprika and cayenne. And those canned tomatoes add a nice hit of lycopene to an already healthy dish.


    Epazote (Eh-pah-zo-tay)

    Epazote has a history of use as a medicinal herb throughout Latin America and is a frequent ingredient in bean dishes because of its antiflatulent properties as well as its pleasant aromatic taste. Its flavour has no direct comparison but is reminiscent of oregano, tarragon, or licorice. There is a pungency to the scent, which some have described as having notes of kerosene, but it imparts a pleasing, earthy, and herbal quality to dishes.

    Dried epazote added to beans can help reduce their gas-causing properties. Epazote contains saponins, which can be toxic in copious quantities, so sparing use is recommended. Look out for it at specialty culinary stores. If you can’t find it, try cilantro, fennel, or oregano.


    Pinto Bean and Pasilla Pepper Dip


      • 1 cup (250 mL) dried pinto beans
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried epazote (optional)
      • 1 tsp + 3 Tbsp (5 mL + 45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped onion
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
      • 1 dried pasilla or ancho pepper
      • 14 oz (398 mL) can diced tomatoes
      • 3/4 cup (180 mL) water
      • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) cumin
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) maple syrup
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) hot smoked paprika
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
      • Garnishes: lime zest, sliced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, crumbled feta cheese


      Per serving:

      • calories161
      • protein6 g
      • total fat7 g
        • sat. fat0 g
      • total carbohydrates 21 g
        • sugars4 g
        • fibre5 g
      • sodium178 mg



      In large bowl, soak beans overnight.


      Rinse and drain well. To large pot, add soaked beans, cover with water, and add epazote, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce water to a simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, until beans are tender. Drain, rinse, and set aside.


      In medium saucepan, add 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil, onions, and garlic, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, until just slightly softened but not browned. Remove stem from pasilla pepper, split it in half with a knife, and remove seeds. Most will fall off easily, but you can use a knife to gently scrape the ones that stick to the flesh of the pepper. Cut or tear pepper into 3 to 5 pieces. To pan, add pepper, tomatoes, water, cumin, and maple syrup; cook, covered, for 10 minutes, then simmer, uncovered, for 50 minutes.


      Cool for 5 minutes and then add lime juice, hot paprika, cayenne, and salt. Add to food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. With blender running, add 3 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a fine stream.


      Tip dip into wide serving bowl and garnish with lime zest, thinly sliced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, and crumbled goat cheese. Serve with sliced vegetables or tortilla chips.



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