Lima Bean Stew

As I’ve mentioned in my menu posts, I’m making an effort to clear out my kitchen of all the food I preserved last summer before this summer’s harvest starts to flood in. One potential problem child is the 2 pounds of Christmas lima beans in my freezer, which are really pretty, but I’m suspicious of lima beans, despite never having actually eaten them before. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I used to be a picky eater and sometimes I forget that I actually like most foods once I get around to trying them. Anyways, last week I decided to bite the bullet and actually use them. I went to my boyfriend, Mark Bittman, and found a recipe for lima beans with dried fruit that used canned tomatoes, which are also taking up space in my pantry, and figured I’d give it a whirl.

Oh my goodness! These lima beans are delicious! I had them as a main course with a side salad, but I could totally see these served as side dish to roast pork.

Lima Beans and Dried Fruit Stew

  •  2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ in fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ tsp cayenne or crushed red pepper
  • 24 pieces dried fruit (the recipe called for ½ apricots & plums, I used dates)
  • ½ lb lima beans, fresh, frozen or cooked from dry (weigh after cooking!)
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • salt

In a medium pot, heat oil over medium low heat. Add onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, ~15 minutes. Turn heat up to medium, add garlic, ginger, and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover. Cook for about 20 minutes until beans and fruit are tender. Serves 4 to 6.

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