Recipe: Trevor Kunk’s Heirloom Bean Dip

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Trevor Kunk has been making a lot of good noise over at Press Restaurant in St Helena. We recently worked with him on an event called Flavor! Napa Valley and while we enjoyed every bite of the lunch he prepared, it was his bean dip that got me excited. I wonder why! Listen, I’ve had a million bean dips and if someone can come up with something new and memorable, I’m all for it.

I think the real secret is that Trevor passes the cooked beans through a chinois or food mill for a super creamy texture that feels like something much less healthy. Or maybe it’s the bacon. This is a recipe for a crowd. Trevor notes that you should use a chinois if you have one but a food mill would work, just make sure you use the finest setting and it won’t be quite so creamy. You can also try pushing it through a fine sieve with the back of a wooden spoon. Pureed beans get very starchy so make sure you have lots of reserved liquid on hand. He also advises that you shouldn't be shy with the salt, pepper or lemon juice!

Serves 10-12

  • 2 pounds Moro or Yellow Eye beans, soaked
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 ribs celery , washed and roughly chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 2 T Salt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the bacon on a roasting pan and roast the bacon until cooked, about 25 minutes. Remove the bacon and fat, reserving both. Add the vegetables and garlic to the roasting pan and toss with enough of the reserved bacon fat to coat. Save the rest of the fat for another dish.
  2. Return the pan to the oven and roast the vegetables until they start to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a dutch oven or stock pot, add the soaked beans, the reserved bacon, 2 T salt and the roasted vegetable mixture. Stir well and cover by two inches of water. Bring to a rapid boil, and allow to continue boiling for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the beans are soft, between 45 and 90 minutes.
  4. Puree the cooked beans with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.
  5. Pass the pureed beans through a chinois, food mill or finely meshed sieve. The viscosity should be light and creamy. Add water if needed.
  6. Right before serving, swirl in olive oil and lemon juice to taste.