I first tasted a very similar appetizer at my Uncle D’s house after he and my aunt returned from a trip to Portugal. Although I am not a huge fan of beans, this appetizer blew me away. It was fresh with a bite from the garlic and onion. It was light but packed a flavorful punch. I immediately started my hunt for butter beans (aka mini Lima beans) to recreate the dish with my own twist. I experimented with mashing the beans to help the “dip” stick to the cracker and infused more flavor into the beans by boiling them with garlic and a bay leaf. The result was fantastic!
Savory butter bean appetizer
Prep: 1 1/2 hrs (less if using canned beans)
1 cup dried Butter beans/mini Lima beans (or 2 cups prepared/canned)
1/2 small onion, diced small
2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp parsley, minced
3 cloves of garlic, separated
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1. If you are using dried beans, place them in a bowl and cover them with 2 inches of water. Soak them overnight. If you are using canned or prepared beans, skip this step!
2. Rinse the beans and add them plus 2 crushed garlic cloves and the bay leaf to a medium sized pot. Cover with fresh water by at least 2 inches and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, simmering gently for about 1 hours or until tender. If you are using canned or prepared beans, skip this step and just rinse them well.
3. Once tender, drain the beans and remove the bay leaf and garlic. Add half the beans to a mixing bowl and mash.
4. Add in the rest of whole the beans, the onion, parsley, olive oil and vinegar. Mix carefully. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you are a fan of olive oil, drizzle some over the top before serving.