Zucchini "Buttah" Bean Dip

Serves 8

Creamy butter beans offer a smooth base for the summery spread -- just like "buttah".  Zucchini adds color and freshness.  You can swap out other summer vegetables like roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, or sauteed leeks.  Serve as a stand-in for hummus, or simply enjoy as a satisfying side dish. 

1 cup raw butter beans (or lima beans, about 2 cups cooked)

3 zucchini (about 3 pounds), sliced ¼” thick

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

To cook beans:  Soak beans at least 8 hours.  Drain soaking liquid.  Place beans in a medium pot and cover with fresh water, so that there are 2 inches of water above the top layer of beans.  Simmer until soft, about 1 hour.

To make bean dip:  Combine zucchini, garlic, and ½ cup water in a medium pot.  Cover and cook over medium-high heat.  Cook until zucchini starts to break apart, about 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  If needed, add extra water to prevent burning.  Add white beans and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the beans start to break apart.  If the mixture is too wet, keep the lid off during these last minutes of cooking, to reach a thick, hearty consistency.  Remove from heat, stir in fresh basil, thyme, and mint.  Enjoy.

Zucchini "Buttah" Bean Dip