Make Ahead

Lemony Lima Tarragon Dip

January 17, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4 as a party snack
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JanetFL
  • Midge
  • MIGirl
  • lapadia
  • Sagegreen

Recipe by: Midge

I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.

10 Reviews

JanetFL June 24, 2013
Can't wait to try this - the tarragon in my garden is flourishing!
Midge July 1, 2013
My tarragon is going nuts this year too.
Carole G. May 31, 2013
Sounds good. I am going to try making it today
Midge July 1, 2013
Midge February 4, 2011
Wow, gingerroot, thanks for your lovely review!
MIGirl January 19, 2011
Looks good Midge.
lapadia January 18, 2011
Sounds great, Midge!
Midge January 18, 2011
Thanks lapadia!
Sagegreen January 18, 2011
I love this!
Midge January 18, 2011
Thanks Sagegreen. Can't stop thinking about your choc. dip. Just replenished my aleppo supply so I might have to try it.