Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cranberry Bean Hummus


I was at a local specialty food shop recently and saw they had fresh cranberry beans. I've always loved the way cranberry beans look, but rarely ever see the fresh ones available. Plus, even if I did happen upon some, I have no idea what to do with them.
However - this particular time my impulse shopper ways took over and I bought some. Then it became my mission to find out what to do with these beauties.
Cranberry beans, also called borlotti beans, are popular in Italian cuisine. I've seen them most commonly prepared in a simple way - maybe sauteed with lemon and olive oil or used in pasta fagioli. I was having a hard time deciding on what to make with them when I saw this recipe for a hummus made with borlotti beans and zucchini...my search was over.
I made it this afternoon and happen to be enjoying it for dinner with the DH as I type this up {did I ever mention I love having appetizers for dinner?}. We both seem to be very pleased with the result as it's all gone!
With the zucchini added in this recipe is more like baba ghanoush than hummus...or maybe a perfect cross between the two.

Begin by shelling some fresh cranberry beans. You can do this by simply popping the shells open & picking out the beans.

You will need about 4 ounces of the beans, out of their pods. Place them in a medium saucepan. To them, add a quarter, peeled onion, a bay leaf & 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover with water & bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer & cook for about 20 minutes, or until the beans are tender; transfer to a bowl of ice water & set aside.

While the beans are cooking, slice one large zucchini {about 9 ounces} into long, fat strips.

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet, over medium heat. Add the zucchini {in batches, if necessary} & saute until tender & lightly brown. Set aside.
Transfer the cooled beans & zucchini to the bowl of a food processor. Add 2 {heaping} tablespoons of tahini,


1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper {to taste}, 1 small clove of garlic {chopped}, 1/4 teaspoon sumac & 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Blend until smooth. Check for seasoning & adjust as necessary.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil & the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sumac. Serve with toasted pita bread triangles.

Cranberry Bean Hummus

Adapted {quite generously} from The British Larder
Makes about 2 cups

4 ounces shelled fresh cranberry beans
1/4 onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt {divided}
1 large zucchini {about 9 ounces}
2 {heaping} tablespoons tahini {sesame paste}
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil {plus more zucchini & garnish}
freshly ground black pepper
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sumac {divided}
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place the cranberry beans, onion,
bay leaf & 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water & bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer & cook for about 20 minutes, or until the beans are tender; transfer to a bowl of ice water & set aside.
While the beans are cooking, slice the zucchini into long, fat strips. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet, over medium heat. Add the zucchini {in batches, if necessary} & saute until tender & lightly brown. Set aside.
Transfer the cooled beans & zucchini to the bowl of a food processor. Add the tahini, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper {to taste}, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon sumac & lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Check for seasoning & adjust as necessary.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil & the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sumac. Serve with toasted pita bread triangles.
Click here for the printable recipe.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Katie!
I recently happened upon your blog and I love it!
Your photography is beautiful and you recipes are delicious! I made your Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner with Horseradish Cream as a condiment for St. Patrick's. It was a big hit!
For the Cranberry Bean Hummus recipe, where did you get the sumac spice? I live in Fairfield county also.

tinytearoom said...

This is a marvellous twist on the usual hummus. Your photographs are awesome

maryb said...

This looks amazing! I, too have often thought of buying these beans... I'm definately going to get them now... what an interesting variation of hummus! and I love all things with Sumac - it is such a distinct flavor...

kate said...

Anonymous-So glad your St. Pat's dinner was a hit!
For the sumac, I'm not sure which stores have it, but I'm assuming most specialty stores would. I got mine at Fairway. Penzey Spices would be another place that would probably have it.

Joanne said...

Oh I really really hope I find some fresh cranberry beans in the supermarket this week! Cranberry bean hummus for dinner sounds ideal.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I been fallowing you blog already for a while, I do agree with the rest recipes are amazing and Photos are just wonderful. I grow up with Cranberry beans on my plate, and I can assure you that there are thousands of things you can do with them. Some are pork and beans casserole, chunky beans soups, or just any soup and then just blend them, pasta and beans, rice and beans as cuba' Moros y Cristianos, bean salads... I rather to have fresh beans or dry ones than canned ones :)

kate said...

Anonymous-Thanks for the great ideas on what to do with them. Until recently, I had never tried them. I had seen them in magazines & was attracted to the pretty pods, but hardly ever see them in markets...except canned, or dried.
When I did a google search on recipes using the "fresh" beans, I didn't come across all that much! But, using the dried version, there seemed to be a lot more.

The Food Hound said...

Love the texture of this dish!! What a great idea!

Christopher Unseth said...

It looks great! I think I'm gonna try this over the weekend.

katerina said...

Beautiful! I always love the idea of fresh beans and then loathe myself halfway through because they are so labour intensive.

egb said...

Your pics are so beautiful! Well done.

Anonymous said...

Williams Sonoma carries the Sumac spice. I agree it is very good.

Kate Ramos said...

What lovely photos! Great addition of zucchini, makes it a little healthier too! Thanks, can't wait to give it a try!

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Beautiful recipe, can't wait to try it!!!

Anonymous said...

I have dried cranberry beans that I'm dying to use. Can you tell me the volume of the cooked cranberry beans? Would it be equivalent to about a cup and a half? Thanks!

kate said...

Anonymous -
When I made this hummus I didn't have very many fresh cranberry beans so this recipe yields a pretty small batch [only 2 cups]. So - first off I would recommend you double or triple the recipe.
According to this website which is a great resource for cooking with beans - 1 cup of dried cannellini beans yields 2 1/2 cups cooked [cannellini are close in size to cranberry "borlotti" beans].
I would use this conversion to approximate how many dried beans you should soak and cook. I haven't tried using dried myself so I'm not sure how they'd work. But if you have success please let me know!

Anonymous said...

Do you incorporate the onion boiled along with the beans in the hummus?

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