Thursday, June 13, 2013

Butter Bean Purée with Dukkah & Egg: An Ottolenghi Hummus Variation

Butter bean or lima bean? Ottolenghi's online recipe says butter bean, the Ottolenghi iPhone app says lima bean. Sometimes the lima and butter are used interchangeably, other times butter bean refers to a larger lima bean. It gets a little confusing but judging from the response I get from most people when I tell them I made lima bean purée and since I used the larger dried lima beans, I am titling this post and recipe: Butter Bean Purée with Dukkah & Egg. It just sounds a bit sexier, doesn't it? ;-) Butter also describes the texture of this hummus-like purée--it's smooth and silky in a way that most chickpea hummus isn't.

I did adjust the recipe to fit my tastes--I like stronger flavors (and cumin) in my hummus. In fact, if you don't serve it with the dukkah and egg on top, you might add even more spice and aromatics to it as it is a mild flavor. Part of the reason I selected this recipe was the dukkah, a Middle-Eastern nut and spice mix. My mom gave me a couple of small jars of the mixture from Trader Joe's when she was last here and I wanted another excuse to use it. You can easily make you own in case you don't have a handy package of dukkah, the Ottolenghi Guardian post has an easy recipe for the blend. It turns out, topping a hummus or purée with dukkah and grated egg is a very good thing for the texture and taste, and even the appearance. 

My recipe changes are in red below.

Butter Bean Purée with Dukkah & Egg
Adapted from Ottolenghi from The Guardian UK & the iPhone app 
(Serves 4)

2 1/4 cups cooked butter beans + 1/3 cup of the water they are cooked with or canned in.
4 garlic cloves, crushed (I used 8 cloves of roasted garlic)
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (I used about 4 Tbsp + the zest)
1/2 cup olive oil, separated

(I added 2 tsp ground cumin seed)
fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
about 2 Tbsp dukkah (optional)
1/4  cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 free-range eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

(I added hot smoked paprika to garnish)

Place the beans and their 1/3 cup of liquid in the bowl of a food processor and add the garlic, lemon juice, 6 Tbsp of the olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper to tatse. Blitz for a couple of minutes to a very smooth purée, transfer to a bowl and if not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

To put the dish together, remove the clingfilm from the purée, stir well and taste for seasoning. Spread purée out on serving  platter and use the back of a spoon to create a wavy pattern. Drizzle over most of the remaining oil and sprinkle with the dukkah if using. Scatter over the chopped parsley, then coarsely grate the eggs and sprinkle on top. Finish with a final drizzle of olive oil. (I also sprinkled the leftover lemon zest and some hot smoked parsley on top.) Serve with bread, crackers or veggie dippers.

Dukkahs vary in ingredients--this is what is in Trader Joe's version

Notes/Results: I liked this recipe--with my changes/additions and topped with the dukkah and egg. On its own, the purée is good. Great silky texture, nothing earth-shattering in terms of flavor and I don't think I would have liked it near as much if I had not roasted and increased the amount of garlic, added the cumin and the extra lemon juice. The toppings are what make this appetizer sing--the crumbly, nutty spice of the dukkah and the hard-boiled egg which makes it look pretty and feel more substantial and satisfying. (I also liked the brightness sprinkling on the leftover lemon zest gave it and the color/taste of the smoky paprika.) I make A LOT of bean purées and hummus--for myself, and to take to gatherings, and I usually just dump it into a bowl and top with a little olive oil and maybe a sprinkle of paprika and/or parsley, so "jazzing it up" was a great idea and I will be using the dukkah/egg technique in the future. For dippers, I grilled some garlic naan, opened some thyme-flavored pita chips, and added baby carrots for color. Overall, this purée turned into another Ottolenghi success for me--I would make it again with my extras. 

On the recipe app, Ottolenghi says this purée is "not dissimilar to hummus"--so I am doing double-duty with it as both this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs "A Little Bit of Sunshine" theme entry (foods/ingredients with hues of yellow and orange) and as an entry for June'sOptional Monthly Community Recipe in which we are making any Ottolenghi hummus. 

You can check out the sunny foods everyone made by going to the post here, or find out the details on June's Optional Community Recipe here.



  1. Hi Deb,
    This is such a sunny hummus dish! Looks very pretty and delicious eaten with the pita and baby carrots! Great choice!

  2. THat would make such a good breakfast with a bit of pita and some tomatoes!

  3. Butter beans are definitely sexier and sound way more appealing (I mean, everyone loves butter, right?!). I love the idea of making a hummus out of them! And since I fell head over heels for Ottolenghi's chickpea hummus, I think it's time to try out a new bean!

  4. I'm so glad you tried this recipe because it's definitely a different and unique spin on hummus. I like that you added lots of roasted garlic and extra lemon to the butter bean puree. I found that my hummus also needed more garlic and more lemon as well. I'm definitely interested in the dukkah. I'll have to look for a jar next time I'm at Trader Joe's because it sounds like something I'd really like. I agree with you, while I loved my hummus all on it's own, I like it much better with the toppings. The toppings really elevate it!

  5. I do like the sound of this one, I often have hummus with a little dukkah...a favourite snack or appetiser. Your photos do make we want to dive right in :)

  6. Couscous & ConsciousnessJune 15, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    All of a sudden I'm feeling like supper. Love the changes you made to this Deb, and I love the idea of the dukkah and egg topping. Interestingly, what we call butter beans here are a thin pale yellow fresh bean, that actually taste kind of buttery - by far my favourite fresh bean.

  7. What a great spin on hummus - not just the use of butter beans instead of chickpeas, but with those toppings for added flavour and texture. Sounds delicious.

  8. Paula @ Vintage KitchenJune 26, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    The pictures with egg on top caught my attention at first. And then I saw it was an ottolenghi recipe, and then read about roasted garlic, and then the dukkah... I´m loving this recipe!!


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