See the Recipe. Joyce Ravid

Forget trendy beans—it doesn’t take much to make America’s own tried-and-true lima beans into something special. Pureed and spread on toasted country bread, they make a fine Mediterranean-ish appetizer. If you must be on the cutting culinary edge, simply substitute cooked fresh red lentils or fava, navy, or cannellini beans for the limas.

Lima Bean Mash with Lemon and Olive Oil Lima Bean Mash with Lemon and Olive Oil
A fresh twist on a basic dip, this preparation makes the most of the delicate flavor of fresh lima beans.
Yield: makes 1 1/2 Cups


  • 2 cups fresh shelled or frozen baby lima beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Country-style bread, toasted and cut into small squares or triangles


  1. Combine lima beans, garlic, 1⁄2 cup water and a generous pinch of salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until beans are very soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Coarsely puree beans and garlic in a food processor. Transfer to a small bowl and gradually beat in olive oil. Remove zest from lemon with a zester or vegetable peeler, then finely julienne zest and set aside. Halve lemon and add lemon juice to puree to taste, then season with salt and pepper. Serve in a small bowl with toasted bread on the side, or top toast with lima mash, drizzle with a little olive oil, and garnish with lemon zest.