Lemony Lima Tarragon Dip

January 17, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This dip was inspired by one of my favorite ways to eat fresh butter or lima beans: with tarragon, butter, and a squeeze of lemon. A whole lot of roasted garlic rounds out the flavors. Midge

Food52 Review: Midge’s Lemony Lima Dip is everything a delicious dip should be -- creamy, bright and piquant. Not only is it difficult to stop dipping, in my case radishes and purple-podded pole beans from my garden, but I was tempted to eat it on its own, by the spoonful. Sweet roasted garlic is the perfect foil for fresh lima beans; on their own, each is assertive, however together, their flavors mingle and mellow. You may feel guilty eating this dip, since any “dip” this tasty must have an indulgent secret. However, fear not, with just a kiss of cream to round out the flavors, and a healthy dose of lemon juice and fresh tarragon (an herb worth rediscovering), enjoying Midge’s Lemony Lima Dip is a guilt-free affair. I will be making this dip for years to come. Note: As Midge suggests, if you can bear waiting—because it is quite delicious right out of the processor bowl—an overnight rest in the fridge will result in a sturdier dip. If you cannot wait, I don’t blame you.gingerroot

Serves: 4 as a party snack


  • 1 cup cooked butter or lima beans (fresh are best, but try frozen, canned, or dried as a last resort)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, more or less to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling over garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, or more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Slice about a ½ inch off the bottom of the whole garlic head, drizzle it with olive oil, and wrap tightly in foil. Roast for 1 hour and cool. Squeeze the cooled and softened garlic into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. To the garlic, add the beans, cream, lemon juice, olive oil, tarragon, and salt. Pulse away to reach a creamy consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. Chill for at least two hours (best to let it sit overnight in fridge). Serve with carrots, other raw veggies, and /or pita chips.

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