I have not made hummus with chickpeas for nearly a decade. Why? Because for me most hummus induces a reaction similar to a hairball in a cat’s throat, not to mention the most crippling stomach cramps. Butterbeans were a revelation and my hummus salvation. The texture is a silky smooth whipped cream that spreads like butter. Hence the name methinks. Irish fermenting queen Dearbhla Reynolds of The Cultured Kitchen introduced me to using preserved lemons taking it to the next level. Trust me and Dearbhla you will never go back.
400g butterbeans, strained & rinsed
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
50ml light tahini
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced into a paste
1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped / or 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Reserve a few butterbeans to decorate. Blend all ingredients until criminally creamy & smooth. Add a little water if necessary.
I love to finish all my dishes with extra doses of love and flavour. Hummus is no exception. Invoke your inner swirling dervish and grab that bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Swirl at least four circles of oil one inch from the edge of the bowl. Pop a few butterbeans in the middle and a few thin slices of preserved lemons or a little grated lemon zest. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne / dukkah / black sesame seeds / garlic flowers/ rose petals or all of the above.
Tara-Lee’s Top Tips
If you prefer to cook your own beans. Soak overnight in filtered water and be sure to triple the amount of water to beans. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the soaking beans. It makes those beans extra creamy when cooked.