herbed lima bean hummus


I don’t blame Tuesdays with Dorie for my pants being too tight to button by the end of 2008.  I blame unemployment.   Instead of grabbing my standard healthy snacks and eating them at work because they were the only food available, I would pass over the bananas and carrots at home and fill up on cookie dough instead.


So one of my goals for 2009, since I’m still working at home a few days per week, is to make those healthy snacks more enticing. For bananas, it’s as simple as eating them with peanut butter or Nutella. The carrots, or whatever other raw vegetable I end up eating, cry out for some sort of dip. But anything based on mayonnaise and/or sour cream just defeats the purpose.


Fortunately, there’s plenty of bean dips out there to explore. This one, which isn’t like traditional hummus at all, is based on lima beans, a bean that I don’t have much experience with. The cooked lima beans are pureed along with aromatics, herbs and seasonings.


The original recipe called for the onion and garlic to be boiled along with the beans, but who wants boiled onion? Yuck. I took many of the recipe reviewers’ recommendations to sauté the onions and garlic instead. The recipe also calls for mint and dill, but I didn’t have any and didn’t miss it. Finally, I reduced the olive oil just a bit, since the whole point here is to make a healthy snack.

The resulting dip is a pretty green color with a very nice, sort of sweet, flavor. It made my daily carrot, which I guarantee wouldn’t have gotten eaten otherwise, much more enjoyable, but no less healthy.


One year ago:  Moo shu

Herbed Lima Bean Hummus (adapted substantially from Gourmet, via epicurious)

Makes about 2 cups

1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving, if desired
½ large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed with side of a large knife
½ teaspoon salt
1 (10-oz) packages frozen baby lima beans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re just starting to brown around the edges. Add the garlic and salt, stir, then remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring lima beans and 1 cup water to a boil over high heat. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until tender. Drain.

3. Add onion mixture, beans, and all remaining ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Add more oil if the dip seems too thick.

4. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil, if desired. Serve with crudité or toasted pita wedges. (Dip can be covered and stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.)


  1. Love your goal!! And love that hummus 🙂

  2. This looks like a delicious, healthy snack. I’ve also found that when I’m home it’s harder to resist snacking on unhealthy foods.

  3. Looks tasty. I actually need something like this to take to work or else I’ll just grab a piece of ginger cake or some cookies!

  4. joelen says:

    What a great and healthy variation to traditional hummus!

  5. I made a lentil hummus once that was really great! It’s fun to experiment with different beans for these spreads and dips. And a tasty way to get your vitamins as well.

  6. This really does sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  7. melslatt says:

    Looks great, so great I gave you an award. You can go to http://chi-towncookincreations.blogspot.com/ to pick it up!

  8. I love hummus made with different kinds of legumes. This sounds great!

  9. Oooooh, I’ll be the lima beans are amazing with these herbs and seasonings. I’m going to have to try this!

  10. I don’t usually love lima beans, but I bet they’re great in this recipe. I love hummus. I’ll have to try this!

  11. What a creative way to jazz up usually-rather-lame lima beans 🙂 The beans are pretty filling, but so nutritious and tasty at the same time. A win-win if I ever heard of one. Best of luck on your healthy eating goal – I know you can succeed! And great pictures, by the way.