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5 easy pieces, part 3: butter bean hummus

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By Jen White · November 29, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

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.

<strong><strong>butter bean hummus


  • 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
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • salt to taste
  • sumac, paprika, or cayenne pepper, for garnish
  1. 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.
  2.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until a creamy mixture is formed.  Season with salt and additional lemon juice, if necessary.
  3.  Sprinkle the top with sumac, paprika, or cayenne, and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

makes 2 cups

MORE EASY PIECES! Part 1: smoked salmon breakfast pizza & Part 2: roasted potatoes and turnips

5 easy pieces: smoked salmon breakfast pizza

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By Jen White · November 27, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Folks, I've got a backlog of food photos I took near summer's end, and even though I don't have time to scratch out full-fledged posts for them, they're still worth sharing. So this week, a stretch of 5 easy recipes to make--so easy they barely warrant a recipe at all, but I'll include one anyway. Check back every day through Saturday for a new post!

This super-easy tortilla pizza is a spin on a quick snack we make often around here, usually with pepperoni and mozzarella, but it makes a tasty breakfast when you've got some lox to rock out.  To make a pepperoni or other kind of pizza, use the tortilla-crisping method described here, then return to the oven after topping the pizza until the cheese melts and everything's hot.

<strong>smoked salmon breakfast pizza


  • 1 large (10") flour tortilla
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • goat cheese, about 1/4 cup, softened
  • a few slices of gravlax or other smoked salmon
  • capers
  • green or red onion slices
  1. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove baking sheet and lay the tortilla on it. Brush lightly with olive oil, then return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's crisped and toasty (it may get some air bubbles in it but you can flatten these with your hand).
  3. Spread tortilla with goat cheese and layer with salmon, capers, and onion slices. That's it!

serves 1 to 2

the summeriest of snacks: fried whole okra with remoulade

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By Jen White · June 13, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

The other day, in the midst of a marathon 4-day wedding weekend, Paul and I took some out-of-town friends to The Company Burger so they could revel in its deliciousness.  As always, the bacon-and-egg burgers and mayonnaise bar at Company didn't disappoint.  But we also got to try one of their vegetable specials, fried whole okra with a vinegar pepper sauce.  it was a revelation, and I haven't been able to get it off my okra-loving mind: lightly battered, crisp little bites of the summertime garden.  The spicy vinegar was great for dipping, but I wanted to try something a little more clingy on them, and I think this remoulade is a good match.  Remoulade (a zippy little mayonnaise-based sauce commonly served with shrimp in New Orleans) will perk up just about any vegetable, whether it's grilled, roasted, steamed, fried, or just plain raw.  

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Tagged with: remoulade, Tempura, okra, fried, snack

snacking good: natchitoches meat pies

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By Jen White · January 22, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

[Baked or fried? You decide.]

Natchitoches meat pies are one of those special little treats with a name as fun to say as they are to scarf down. Nackadish--that's how you say it--is a small town we drive through on our way north to visit Alexandria or Oklahoma, and it's where Steel Magnolias was filmed, and it's famous for these little pies. It's a beautiful little place, with a picturesque riverfront lined with shops and restaurants that have their own sort of French Quarter-ish wrought-iron balconies (remember the Easter scene where Jackson slapped Ouiser? That's the riverfront!).  But you don't have to go into the actual town to get yourself some meat pies; just stop at any gas station right off I-10. They all fry them up and they're all pretty wonderful.

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pumpkin squares, squared

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By Jen White · October 6, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

I come from a long line of German women who feel compelled to produce baked goods pretty much nonstop from October to January.  I'm not even fudging this fact a bit. I refer to the phenomenon as "extreme baking," or the condition during which our collective kitchens are completely dusted with flour and sugar, all of our tupperware containers have been filled with sweets and handed over to neighbors, and our feet ache from standing over too many mixing bowls, yet we continue to bake without ceasing.  I suffer from the condition, and I don't even have a sweet tooth.

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naughty but nice: fried green tomato caprese

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By Jen White · June 14, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I don't know why I had to take one of the healthiest appetizer/salad/snack concoctions on the planet and fry it, but I'd do it again.  In a heartbeat.

See those white edges?  That's fried mozzarella oozing out of the breading, because I breaded and fried the cheese, too.  I've already decided that I'm going to be grounded for the week and I must eat nothing but wheat bread and carrots until I understand the consequences of my actions.

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