Saturday, June 20, 2015

Minted Lima Bean Dip

I have been preparing dozens and dozens of cookies for a friend's wedding (more on that later), which is a project that requires freezer space. And my freezer.... well, it does not have space. Instead, it has four-year-old coconut flakes. And bags of frostbitten vegetable trimmings I once intended to turn into stock. And... well... is that tomato paste? Chipotles in adobo? A curry base from that cookbook I checked out the library a few years ago? C'mere, take a sniff and tell me what you think. No? Fair enough.

So yeah, it's a bit of a(n overcrowded) state. To clear some room, I purged some of the more ancient and unidentifiable items. And then I set about trying to take some of the miscellaneous remainders out of the deep freeze, and into something edible.

I have absolutely no idea why I bought frozen baby lima beans. Were they on sale? Did I have some plan? Maybe some Persian recipe? Literally no idea. This bag expired a year ago, so the initial motivation is now lost to the ages. And yes, I probably should have thrown them in the compost — but I am just this kind of devil-may-care thrifty danger-skirter.

I briefly flirted with a Greek-inspired bake, pairing the beans with feta and dill and heaps of garlic. But it's a bit too hot to bake these days. So instead, I went for a dip (which, as bonus, could also involve several of the odd bags of baguette slices and bread heels also loitering around the freezer). I simmered the beans, and then tossed them in the food processor along with a few sprigs of mint (thanks, neighbors' garden!), some garlic and lemon, and a handful of spinach (not necessarily, but I always love me some greens). The result is simple, green, and fresh-tasting — and given its frost-bitten origins, that's quite a feat.

Minted Lima Bean Dip
yields ~2 cups

1 bag frozen baby lima beans (10 ounces)
1 handful spinach
a few sprigs fresh mint
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
glug olive oil
salt and pepper

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lima beans, and simmer until tender, ~15 minutes. Drain.

Throw the softened beans in the food processor, along with all of the other ingredients. Process, scraping down as needed, until a rough puree forms. Taste to adjust seasonings, and serve.