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4 Yummy Summer Spreads

Refreshing and Healthy Recipes

Lima Bean Hummus

In a medium pot, add 12 ounces thawed baby lima beans and cover with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil, and add a large pinch of kosher salt. Cook until the beans are tender, but not mushy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve about ¼ cup cooking liquid, then drain and cool a bit. In a small frying pan, heat about ¼ cup oil over low heat. Once warmed, add 2 large garlic cloves and fry gently for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until light golden brown. Do not let the garlic burn. Add a pinch crushed red pepper to the oil, and cook for one more minute to infuse the flavor. Cool for a few minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, add garlic and oil mixture, drained lima beans, 2 tablespoons tahini, ½ teaspoon salt, fresh cracked pepper, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Purée until mixture is smooth and creamy. If it appears dry or lumpy, add a couple tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid or a little additional olive oil, and continue to process. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with pita chips.

Green Goddess Veggie Dip

In a medium bowl, mix 8 ounces soft cream cheese, ¼ cup sour cream, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 small diced shallot, zest and juice from 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of each: finely minced tarragon, parsley, and dill. Add 1 tablespoon minced chives, ½ teaspoon anchovy paste (optional). Using a wire whisk, silicone spatula, or large spoon, blend until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Taste and adjust to your preference, adding salt and pepper. It’s best made a few hours or a day ahead as the flavors have time to meld and develop. Serve with crisp veggies, or in greens bowls.


Combine ¼ cup bulgur and ½ cup warm water in a bowl, and let soak for 20 minutes. Drain bulgur well and transfer to a large bowl along with 1 large finely diced tomato, 1 small cucumber (seeds removed), 3 to 4 cups minced flat leaf parsley, ½ cup minced mint leaves, juice of 1 lemon, 4 scallions (white and light green parts diced), ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ teaspoon each of allspice and cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few turns of cracked pepper. Toss to combine, taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.

Fig Jam

In a medium saucepan, combine 6 ounces dried misson figs, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and juice from 1 lemon, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly and has turned a rosy, golden shade, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and cool the mixture for 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and purée until smooth. Store in an airtight container (I use mason jars) in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve with soft cheese on crostini.

Photos: Jenny Tremblay West

Jenny Tremblay West began her career as a pastry chef and currently teaches cooking in Richmond. Jenny, her husband, and their two young boys live in Church Hill. She has worked in food for more than twenty years and is a kitchen coach and personal chef with Caper.
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