Raw onion and garlic can be harsh and assertive. Sometimes you want that, like in a salsa. But sometimes you want the flavor of those great aromatics without the sharpness. That’s when you want to try roasting your vegetables. That means using high, intense heat to caramelize the sugar (and both onions and garlic, surprisingly, have a lot of sugar) and bring out the natural sweetness of each vegetable. They turn soft and lightly golden brown in the oven until garlic is so tender and delicious, you can spread it on a slice of bread like butter. No, really–try that sometime. You’ll be amazed.

But in this dish, we’ve used those sweet, rich flavors to brighten up a traditional bean dip. The roasted garlic and onions add a huge burst of flavor to our Randall Beans Pinto Beans. Add a few dashes of Southwestern spices and you have an easy but fantastic dish for holiday entertaining. Pair this dip with tortilla chips, pita chips, vegetables or any other favorite dipping snack.

Oh, and don’t forget, you can roast your onion and garlic the day before you serve it. Just wrap them tightly in foil and store in the fridge overnight and you’re good to go.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 48-ounce jar Randall Pinto Beans, drained
  • 1 large roasted -yellow onion*, chopped
  • 4 large cloves roasted garlic**, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded jack cheese
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir the spices in the hot oil for 2 minutes.

Purée the beans in a food processor and add to the saucepan. Stir in the chopped roasted onion and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and 1 cup of the cheese and season to taste.

Pour into a casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. At serving time, place in a hot oven or the microwave oven and heat until hot through and the cheese is melted.

Serve hot with tortilla chips for dipping.

10 servings

* Roasted Onion:

Rub a large, unpeeled yellow skinned onion with oil. Wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, crimping top to close tightly. Place in a pre-heated 400° oven for 1 to 11/2 hours or until onion is soft. Allow to cool in the foil before peeling and chopping.

**Roasted Garlic:

Cut the top off of a large, firm head of garlic, exposing the tips of the garlic cloves. Place on a square of heavy duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Tightly crimp the top of the foil. Place in a preheated 400° oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until soft. Cool. Gentle pressure on bottom will push the soft roasted cloves from their skin.

Beans, when combined with rice, are a main staple in the diets of many cultures, particularly Hispanic. The addition of rice completes the nutritive protein value of the dish.

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