A modern-day fairy tale:
Once upon a time, a New York girl moved to Los Angeles.
She traveled west to figure out whether the guy she thought was going to be her forever guy was, indeed, life partner material. It was far, but she was happy to go - somehow she'd always known she wouldn't spend the rest of her years in The Land of the Great Skyscrapers.
The guy exceeded expectations, but the transition was hard. The New York girl's whole family was in New York. Her dearest friends, too, still lived among the Great Skyscrapers. The only friend she had in Los Angeles was the guy - and, given the stresses any couple faces when first moving in together, that wasn't quite enough. The New York girl was lonely, despite the terrific guy's heroic efforts.
The New York girl had one connection in Los Angeles - a former colleague with whom she'd crossed paths once or twice and who had made the journey west from New York a year earlier. Bravely, the New York girl called the colleague and, following local traditions, they did lunch.
The colleague introduced the New York girl to some of the finer points of Los Angeles living. Take-out vegan food at Erewhon Market. Late afternoon walks around city blocks lined with Spanish-style fourplexes. Meyer lemons. Bougainvillea. Hiking Runyon Canyon. And once - at a party where the New York girl arrived knowing no one and left with the impression that people in Los Angeles were way nicer than the New Yorkers she was used to dealing with - a light, garlic-scented, herb-flecked black bean dip.
Little by little, the New York girl adjusted to life in Los Angeles. The colleague was a few years ahead in the Game of Life, had her kids earlier than the New York girl. The New York girl and the terrific guy moved closer to the ocean; the colleague went the other way, up into the Hollywood Hills. A few miles make a big difference when it comes to Los Angeles traffic. They saw less of each other as their kids grew older and went to different schools and everyone got on with their Los Angeles lives.
But the New York girl never forgot the colleague's kindness in helping her navigate life in L.A. And every time she makes the light, garlic-scented, herb-flecked black bean dip, she thinks of the colleague's bright eyes and beatific smile, and the comfort it brought her lo those two decades ago, and she says "thank you" under her breath.
Black beans and fresh dill may sound like a strange combination, and this dip sure won't win any beauty contests, but the flavors are completely delicious together. Serve with tortilla or pita chips if you don't mind the carbs, or go another direction with sliced cucumbers, daikon radish rounds or bell pepper strips.
Vegan black bean dip with fresh dill and garlic
A light, garlicky, herb-flecked bean dip. Serve this vegan dip with crackers, tortilla chips, pita, sliced cucumbers, daikon radish rounds and bell pepper strips.
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- generous 1/2 cup fresh dill fronds
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 small lemon or 1/2 large lemon)
- 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
- freshly ground pepper
Put the beans, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Serve at room temperature.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: about 2 cups