By Suzanne Havala

This vegetarian dip has a mild flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. With the salsa added, it works well as a dip for tortilla chips and for raw vegetable pieces such as broccoli and cauliflower florets, baby carrot sticks, and bell pepper strips.

Depending on what you have on hand, you can garnish the dip with parsley sprigs, minced green onions or tomatoes, grated cheddar or Jack cheese, a dollop of sour cream or mashed avocado, or any combination of these ingredients.

If the dip sets for about 30 minutes, it thickens enough to be used as a filling for burritos or tacos. If you plan to use this as a filling or spread, the salsa is optional.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/mofles]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/mofles

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 1/4-cup servings

15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 small onion, minced

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 cup mild salsa (optional)

  1. Combine the beans and water in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the beans are hot.

  2. Remove from the heat and mash the beans well with a potato masher or fork. Add the onion and garlic and stir well.

  3. Return the mixture to the stovetop and heat on low for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

  4. Stir in the salsa, if desired, and heat until the beans are hot and bubbly. Add more water by the tablespoon, if necessary, until the dip reaches the desired consistency.

  5. Remove from the heat and serve.

In this recipe, the onions remain crunchy. If you prefer the onions cooked, sauté them for a few minutes in a teaspoon of olive oil before adding them to the beans in Step 1.

Per serving: Calories 55 (From Fat 9); Fat 1g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 218mg; Carbohydrate 10g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 4g.