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This tasty bean dip from Food & Wine’s Paige McCurdy-Flynn gets a jolt of heat from homemade harissa. It’s delicious served with warm za’atar-dusted pita bread. Slideshow: More Bean Dip Recipes 


Credit: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Recipe Summary test

45 mins
1 hr 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large pot, cover the soaked and drained navy beans with water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain and discard the bay leaves.

  • Meanwhile in a food processor, pulse the soaked and drained árbol chiles with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon each of the cumin and coriander until a paste forms. Transfer the harissa to a small bowl. Clean out the food processor.

  • In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onions, the remaining 9 garlic cloves and the Fresno chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown, about 15 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, beans, parsley, 1 tablespoon of harissa, the lemon juice and the remaining 1 teaspoon each of cumin and coriander. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add more harissa, if desired. Let cool slightly.

  • In the food processor, add one-third of the bean mixture and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.  Repeat in 2 more batches with the remaining beans and olive oil. Drizzle with more olive oil and garnish with cumin, coriander, parsley and harissa. Serve with pita bread, crudités and lemon wedges. 

Make Ahead

The dip can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature before serving.