When I was a kid I HATED lima beans. My dad loved them, so we ate them a lot. Just thinking of lima beans used to make my mouth dry…they always tasted so mealy and intensely dry to me and no amount of butter could fix that. To this day I see one of the bricks of frozen Jolly Green Giant lima beans and shudder.
Fast forward to adulthood. A few months ago my husband and I had the priviledge of enjoying an amazing night at the Segerstrom Family Farm in Costa Mesa. Our friends invited us to join them at the farm for a charity event (The Festival of Children) and it was truly one of my favorite events ever. We began by going out into the fields to pick the produce that would be used in our dinner. There was a private chef who prepared all of the food with her team and we spent the night dining outdoors under the stars right next to the fields. It was spectacular. The food was phenomenal and the company was even better.
The Segerstrom Farm began as a lima bean farm, so when the night ended we were all sent home with bage of dried lima beans and fantastic pumpkins to take home to the kids.
For the holidays my mom and dad gifted me a HUGE (750+ pages) vegetarian cookbook called World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey and one of the lima bean reciped jumped out at me. The time had come for me to give lima beans another try…I already had some outstanding beans in the pantry from the Segerstrom Farm, so I had no more excuses.
Shockingly I LOVED this recipe. The beans were creamy and so flavorful. I am sure it is attributable to high quality beans and a well written cookbook.
Madhur received this recipe from the nuns at the Ormylia Monastery in Macedonia.
1 cup dried lima beans or any large white beans, picked over and washed
¼ cup oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into thin half moons
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
2 good-sized (6-7 ounce each) tomatoes, finely chopped
1 ¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
Soak the beans overnight in water to cover by 5 inches. Drain, discarding the soaking liquid and rinse with cold water.
Put the beans in a pot with 3 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil. Remove the scum that rises to the top. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer gently for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the beans are just tender (If the dried beans are very fresh it may only take 20 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
When the beans have finished cooking, add them and their cooking liquid to the dish with the onion, carrot, and tomatoes.
Add the salt, lots of black pepper, the parsley, and oregano. Stir to mix.
Put the casserole dish into the oven and bake, uncovered for 2 hours.
Serve hot. I served this with a salad and some crusty whole wheat bread, but it would taste great over barley or pasta as well.
For a printable version of this recipe click here