Take A Dip Into Flavor

Charcuterie boards have become more popular in recent years. People often make entire meals out of the finger foods and snack-like items that are included in these offerings — which may include anything from sliced cheeses to olives, crackers, vegetables, and cured meats. Fresh dips also may be included, and hummus is a favorite for its flavor and versatility.

Traditional hummus is made from chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans. However, many different beans and legumes can be used to make hummus, depending on the desired texture and flavor profile. This recipe for “Lima Bean Hummus” from “Southern Appetizers” (Chronicle Books) by Denise Gee is one such variation on the traditional hummus recipe. It’s fresh and light and can be served with toasted pita bread or naan.

Lima Bean Hummus
Serves 8 to 10

1 16-ounce package frozen lima beans
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup tahini paste
2 to 3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus more for garnish, plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Paprika for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the lima beans to the boiling water and, when the water returns to a boil, cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and cook the beans until they are just tender; 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the beans and let cool. Set aside 5 or 6 whole lima beans for garnish.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1⁄2 cup of the olive oil, the tahini paste, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Mix until blended. Add the cooked lima beans in small batches, slowly adding the remaining 1⁄2 cup oil (or more) and scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure even blending, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Garnish with the reserved beans, lemon zest and paprika, if desired, before serving.

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