Y’all, I feel a little silly posting this recipe. After all, it only calls for 4 ingredients. But this is hands-down my favorite way to prepare baby lima beans: the limas get to stand out, rather than being smothered in sauce, and they taste fresh and summery, even though they’re cooked from dry.
Simple Lima Beans
- 1/2 pound dried baby lima beans
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
(See? Only 4 ingredients!) Pick through and rinse dried beans. Then transfer to a pot, add the remaining ingredients then enough water to cover by an inch. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about an hour. Add additional water if needed. Drain, and serve with a splash of olive oil and additional salt if desired. Serves 4.
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
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.