I recently returned from my best friend's wedding in Costa Rica, which was absolute paradise! I surfed, danced, ate delicious Costa Rican food, and best of all, spent time with some of my best friends and celebrated the happy couple.
Check out #SJKTravels on social media for more pictures of my trip!
The thing about Costa Rican food that stuck out the most to me was the freshness. Fresh ingredients were combined together in simple ways and the true flavors of the ingredients shined. We ate lots of fish, chicken, rice and beans, veggies, and fruit, which might sound kind of boring, but when those foods are of high quality, the dishes are very satisfying and light! I can't help but notice how the Costa Rican cuisine echoes the national saying, "Pura vida," which simply translates to "pure life" but takes on many joyful and thankful meanings!
One dish I had that I'd never tasted before was a pureed black bean dip at Green Papaya Taco Bar in Tamarindo. It was served alongside guacamole, a spicy pepper dip, and tortilla chips, and I could have made a whole meal out of that appetizer! It was smooth, savory, light, and PURPLE!
What follows is my attempt at recreating this black bean dip! I kept the ingredients simple (as seemed to be the trend in Costa Rica). While I think I nailed the texture and flavor, my version is not nearly as beautiful as the original :( The red onion and bell pepper weren't enough to enhance the purple tone of the black beans, but damn if it isn't delicious!
The original was free of garnishes, but I love swirling a dollop of sour cream in the mix. If you're a cilantro fan, that's excellent on top as well. My lunch today consisted of avocado toast with sliced tomato and a side of chips and this black bean dip, a meal I highly recommend!
Black Bean Dip
Costa Rican-inspired Black Bean Dip is smooth, savory, and light!
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 30 oz canned black beans
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- Juice of a lime
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Optional: sour cream and cilantro
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.2. Chop 1/2 onion and the bell pepper in 1 - 2 inch chunks. Toss with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper on a baking sheet.3. Roast onions and bell pepper at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.4. While the onions and peppers are roasting, drain and rinse the canned black beans. Peel the garlic clove and juice the lime.5. When the roasting is complete, blend all (non-optional) ingredients in a food processor until smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides and re-blend a few times.6. Serve with tortilla chips. Swirl a dollop of sour cream on top and sprinkle with cilantro if desired. Enjoy!
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2.5 cups
1. - 2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Chop the 1/2 onion and red bell pepper in large chunks and toss with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
3. Roast at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Prepare for your house to smell savory and heavenly.
4. While the veggies roast, drain and rinse the black beans, peel the clove of garlic, and juice the lime.
5. a. When roasting is complete, add everything (except the sour cream and cilantro) to the food processor and blend!
5. b. You may have to scrape down the sides and re-blend a few times in order to get the dip completely smooth.
5. c. The final result should be smooth with very few chunks left in it!
7. Serve with tortilla chips! Swirl in some sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro if you'd like. The final result has a fresh, savory taste to it with a little hint of sweetness from the roasted onion and bell pepper. It's both filling and light at the same time! I have a sneaking suspicion that this dip smeared on a tortilla would make any taco better. Challenge accepted!
P.S. Isn't this little turtle cute?! It's a whistle and the favor from the wedding, which I think I will make into an ornament.