Afterwards, I realized that the teachers were as excited about the rich, creamy dip as the students were. It was that good. And inexpensive. And healthy. And, well, should you want to make your own, here's the ridiculously easy recipe, adapted from Cooking Light:
Black Bean Hummus
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 TBSP lemon juice (freshly squeezed using one of these cool gadgets, if you have one)
2 TBSP tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
2 tsp ground cumin (kids seem to like using the mortar and pestle...)
½ tsp salt
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
small jalapeno pepper, chopped
a handful of fresh cilantro, washed (optional to remove stems)
4 tsp olive oil
Put garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, black beans, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro in a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to add in 1-2 TBSP olive oil to make it creamy. Scoop out the spread into a bowl and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Serve with sliced fresh vegetables, pita bread, or bagel chips.
You know, with the weather so warm like this, you might need to break out a bowl of this at a picnic in the not-too-distant future. I'm just sayin'... Spread it around!