I started making hummus from scratch last year, when I discovered the organic dried chickpeas in bulk at the neighborhood Rouse’s. I love to make it, but let’s be honest: chickpeas take forever to cook, especially when you want them really soft, for hummus. But you can make a serviceable hummus out of just about any dried bean or pea: black-eyed peas, lima beans, black beans…and butter beans! While all of these might be tasty, the prettiest ones are going to be made from white or very light-colored beans. I’ve made black bean hummus before, and it turns out kind of blue-gray. Not untasty, but not winning any beauty contests.
Butter beans, a.k.a. large limas, are perfect for making a from-scratch hummus because they cook very quickly–just about 45 minutes in gently boiling water. You can also use canned, of course, just as you would use canned chickpeas for hummus. I like the fact that butter beans are a Southern cooking staple, too. Try some!
Use your own favorite hummus recipe, or if you don’t have one, here are some amounts to get you started.
- 4 cups cooked butter beans, drained & liquid reserved (or 2 15-ounce cans)
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- juice of 1 to 2 lemons
- ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- salt to taste
- sumac, paprika, or cayenne pepper, for garnish
- Drop the garlic cloves in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until finely minced. Add the butterbeans, lemon juice, a few tablespoons of bean liquid or water, and tahini, and process until pasty.
- With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until a creamy mixture is formed. Season with salt and additional lemon juice, if necessary.
- Sprinkle the top with sumac, paprika, or cayenne, and drizzle with a little more olive oil.