Lima Beans

Fresh Lima Bean Gratin

I was not able to get lima beans planted this year and I have been really missing having had a lima bean harvest.  So, when Cam and I went to the farm store, we both jumped on the bushels of lima beans.  Now that I have so many beans in my refrigerator, I need to shell them and figure out new ways to use them (although I am always tempted to do my never say never again’ lima beans, we all love it).

I made a dent in the beans today with this gratin.  It needed 4 cups of shelled beans.

The recipe called for making it in individual ramekins, which I do not have, so I made it as one large casserole.

It was very tasty and, combined with a salad, made a very satisfying dinner.

On a funny note, I decided to try another new (or so I thought) recipe as a side dish for Rosh Hashanah – Tok Cel Lima Beans.  As I was making them I realized that they seemed really familiar…very familiar.  So, before I wrote a new post I did a search.  I made the exact recipe last summer – Roasted Lima Beans!  Well, they were every bit as good this time!

Fresh Lima Bean Gratin

adapted from Grace Parisi in Food & Wine Magazine

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon melted

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound shallots, halved if small, quartered if large

8 thyme sprigs (from the garden)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups shelled lima beans (1 1/4 pounds) (locally grown)

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups half-and-half

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (locally grown)

1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley (from the garden)


Preheat the oven to 425°. In an ovenproof dutch oven, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the oil. Add the shallots and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Cover tightly and roast for about 30 minutes, until very tender.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted water, cook the limas until just tender, 5 minutes. Drain and cool under running water. Spread on paper towels and pat dry.

Transfer the shallots and thyme to a plate; leave as much fat in the pan as possible. Strip the thyme leaves from the sprigs and return to the shallots.

Lower the oven to 375°. Add the flour to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, whisking, for 1 minute. Add the half-and-half and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the limas, shallots, thyme and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. 

In a bowl, toss the panko and parsley with the 1 tablespoon of melted butter; sprinkle over the gratins.

Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling. Turn on the broiler and broil for 2 minutes, just until browned.Let the gratins rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4 – 6


Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Succotash Salad

Most of the time, I try a recipe, I have to make changes, it just doesn’t seem right to me.  This salad by Katie Lee is an exception, I made it just as it was written and it was a really happy addition to our dinner.  Not only that, it met my “is it great as a leftover” criteria.


The green beans, basil and jalapeno were mine, the corn grown locally, as were the tomatoes, but, alas, I had to use the frozen lima beans.  I thought I had ordered beans to plant, but I hadn’t and by the time I realized it I was not able to find them anywhere.

In addition to being a great salad, we used this as one of the topping for blackened salmon tacos, along with mangos, it was all that we needed.


Succotash Salad

by Katie Lee

Kosher salt
2 cups green beans (from the garden)
1 10-ounce package frozen lima beans, thawed
3 cups corn kernels (from about 4 ears) (locally grown)
1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (from the garden)
10 basil leaves, thinly sliced (from the garden)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey (local)
Freshly ground pepper


Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and lima beans and cook until the green beans are bright green and the lima beans have softened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water to cool. Cut the green beans into 1-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the green beans, lima beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and basil.


In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, honey, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat.

Serves 6.


Categories: Green Beans, Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Lima Bean Twist on Goulash

Perhaps it is my Hungarian grandmother coming through, but I love, love, love this dish!  The paprika and lemon flavor combination made me so happy.  The dish felt like love from beginning to end.


The love started at the beginning with shelling the lima beans. The process started with both Cam and the dog hovering, waiting for me to give them the beans that were either too small (Cam) or too big (Zuko) for me to use.  Pretty quickly, Cam joined in and helped me shuck the two cups of beans – you wouldn’t believe how many pods have to be shelled to get 2 cups of lima beans.


By the time we finished, Cam had eaten so many beans, that it almost didn’t matter whether or not he ate dinner. But instead of not eating, he devoured the meat and noodle combination (but left his limas for Zuko – he prefers his lima beans fresh from the garden and raw).


I decided to us noodles as a base instead of leaving the goulash soupy.  That approach goes best in my house, but you could just as easily leave it as a soup.  I am glad it was only the three of us home, I am looking forward to the leftovers for lunch!


A Lima Bean Twist on Goulash

Adapted from Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 lb lean ground beef (locally raised)

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

2 cups quartered tomatoes (from the garden)

1 tsp paprika

2 cups cooked lima beans, drained with liquid reserved (from the garden)

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 cup slice mushrooms (grown locally)


Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat.  Add ground beef, stir and fry until browned.

Add onions and celery and cook for 3 – 4 minutes longer.

IMG_7775.JPG Stir in tomatoes and paprika.  Add 2 cups reserved bean liquid (add water if need to to make it 2 cups).  Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice and beans. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

IMG_7776.JPG Add mushrooms and cook, covered, for 15 minutes more.

IMG_7777.JPG Serve over noodles (or not).  Enjoy!




Serves 4 – 6.


Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Main Dish, Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment


There is a middle eastern restaurant near my daughter’s university…Ali Baba in Newark, DE. It is one of my favorite places to eat. They have many delicious dishes, but somehow, whenever I go there I have to order the fattoush.  Fattoush is a middle eastern bread salad, and I think I am addicted to it.


I am not sure if I have mentioned it, but this has not been a great summer for my tomatoes.  Good ones have been few and far betwen, but I finally have a few good ones on the counter.


I also happened to have some pita bread and one last cucumber from our garden. Time for me to do my own riff on fattoush!


I had a lot of lima beans in the fridge that needed to be used.  I realized that roasted lima beans would go wonderfully on top of the salad.


I used a “dressing” similar to one I use for a Persian tomato-cucumber salad, toasted pita and roasted lima beans – a fattoush with my own twist. And it was both yummy and satisfying.  I am quite proud of this one!



2 large tomatoes, chopped (from the garden)

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 or 2 cucumbers, sliced and/or chopped (from both mine and a friend’s gardens)

2 or 3 green onions, sliced

2 pitas, toasted

1 tsp dried mint

Juice of 1 lemon

Roasted lima beans



Mix the tomatoes, green pepper, cucumbers and green onions in a bowl.


Toss with the mint.

IMG_7789.JPG Break of the pitas into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top and toss.


Divide the salad among the serving plates and top with roasted lima beans.  Enjoy!


Serves 3.

Note:  if you do not use the lima beans, you will need to add salt and parsley to the salad.


Categories: Cucumber, Green Peppers, Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 5 Comments

Roasted Lima Beans

I was looking for a new way to cook the lima beans from our garden. After doing an internet search, I came upon this recipe from an NPR piece on lima beans from 2007 by D. Cameron Lawrence.  The recipe is from chef Bruce Ucán of the Mayan café in Louisville, KY. It is adaptable for either fresh or frozen lima beans, of course I think fresh tastes just so much better.

IMG_7500.JPGI cannot overstate how tasty this was. Pumpkin seeds and sesame oil, what a great combination! The flavors are delightfully different from any other preparation I have used for lima beans.

IMG_7574.JPG It was quick, easy and will become a regular addition to my late summer menus.



Roasted Lima Beans

very slightly adapted from chef Bruce Ucán

1/2 pound fresh or frozen lima beans (from the garden)

1 bunch green onions or chives (from the garden)

1/2 bunch parsley (from the garden)

Salt to taste

Lemon juice to taste

6 ounces ground, roasted pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon sesame oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

If using fresh beans, blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute, then rinse and dry. (note, the beans will float once blanched). If you use frozen beans, defrost.


Chop the green onions and parsley, medium to fine. Set aside.


Roast the pumpkin seeds in the preheated oven, about 3 minutes, then grind them (medium to fine) in a food processor or grinder.


Put the sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When the oil starts smoking, throw the lima beans in. Saute them until they are brown and roasted, about 6 – 8 minutes.


Add all the other ingredients except the lemon juice and saute for another minute.


Then add lemon juice, serve and enjoy!.


Makes 4 servings











Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Cavatappi with Lemony Brussels Sprouts and Lima Beans

Brussels sprouts and lima beans, the two vegetables that make most of America groan and kids run to hide.  We are so accustomed to steamed, over-cooked, stinky, frozen Brussels sprouts and dried or frozen lima beans cooked until they are bland and mushy.  But once you have tasted these vegetable prepared fresh, in manners that highlight their sweetness, the reaction changes.  In my house, it is a happy day when fresh versions of either of these vegetables appear.  Putting the two together in one dish makes for a very happy day indeed.


My lima beans had finished producing, so the produce came from the farms at the University of Pennsylvania farmers market.  The garlic, as always, came from my garden.

This dish was inspired by a recipe I saw in Cooking Light magazine, Cavatappi with Browned Brussels Sprouts and Buttery Breadcrumbs (November 2012).  I really like the texture of cavatappi with the Brussels sprouts and lima beans, but other tube-shaped pasta may work well.


One last note on this…I made extra and I have to admit that the leftovers tasted even better than the original.  So, go ahead, make more than you need!

Cavatappi with Lemony Brussels Sprouts and Lima Beans

1 lb cavatappi pasta

2 tsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup panko or home-made breadcrumbs

1 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil

1 lb Brussels sprouts

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup shelled fresh lima beans

2 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

1 cup chicken broth (organic, if possible)

1 tsp lemon zest

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

2 oz Parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated


Slice the Brussels sprouts lengthwise into 4 slices each.  Set aside.


Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and transfer to a large bowl.  Keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat, swirl to coat.  Add breadcrumbs to the pan.  Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes.


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil, swirl to coat.  Add Brussels sprouts, cook 3 – 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add onion, garlic and lima beans, cook 2 – 3 minutes, until the Brussels spouts are lightly browned and the onion is tender.


Add broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Cover and cook 2 – 4 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are just tender.  Add red pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning.


Add vegetables to the pasta, toss well.  Top with cheese and bread crumbs.


Serve and  Enjoy!


Serves 5 – 6.

Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Baghali Polo – Persian Rice with Lima Beans

File this one under “I can’t believe I just made something this delicious!”

Yes, I often make really tasty and flavorful food, but not typically on my first try making something I have never tasted before, using a lot of improvisation and guess-work. And, according to my Persian food expert (my Iranian husband), this was the real deal.


I had harvested lima beans, but only about 1/2 as much as I needed. I thought I had some frozen limas, but I was wrong. What to do? I did not want to halve the dish, so I decided to also use about a half-pound of shelled edamame with the limas. Ali was skeptical, but it ended up working just fine.


I had also just gotten a bunch of eggplant from Farmer Kim. So our dinner was a simple fried eggplant with the baghali polo – yum! (note: the next night we had it with Khoresh Bademjun– they went together beautifully!)


Even if you don’t think you like lima beans, try this! I don’t like dill, and for some reason, in this recipe, it is just what is needed. Trust me, I wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Baghali Polo

3 cups Basmati rice, cooked

2 Tbsp canola oil, separated

1 lb lima beans (or a mix of lima beans and edamame) (from the garden)

½ onion, chopped small

3 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp dried dill

2 Tbsp yogurt

1 pinch saffron, prepared (see directions below)

3 tsp advieh (can be found at middle eastern markets, some people substitute cinnamon, if you do that here, use less)


In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add the lima beans.


Add the onions and sauté the lima beans and onions over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the dill. Set aside.


Prepare the saffron – Grind the saffron with a bit of salt (a mortar and pestle works best). Then add in  a few tablespoons of hot water.


In a small bowl, combine the prepared saffron and yogurt. Mix in about 1 cup of the cooked rice.


In a large pot, add just enough water to cover the bottom. Add 1 Tbsp oil and mix the oil and water together.

Add all the yogurt-saffron rice in a layer on the bottom of the pot. Add a little layer of regular rice on top.


Add about 1/3 of the lima bean mixture.


Add about 1/3 of the rest of the rice, sprinkle with 1tsp advieh.


Mix the rice and beans together, gently so as not to break up the yogurt layer.


Add another 1/3 of the lima beans and another 1/3 of the rice and a tsp of advieh. Mix these layers together.

Add a final layer of lima beans and finish with the rest of the rice and tsp of advieh. Mix these layers together.

Sprinkle the top with a few tablespoons of water. Cover with a padded lid or a clean dish towel and then a lid (wrap the towel over the lid so the ends do not catch fire).  Cook on high for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for another 45 minutes.


To serve: Mound the rice on a serving dish. Place pieces of the tadig (the crisp layer of rice that forms on the bottom of the pot) around the outside of the rice or pass it separately (it is a real treat!). Enjoy!


Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Fresh Lima Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes

I stopped at the farm market the other day to pick up some broccoli (Cam is demanding it every day right now) and what did they have at the checkout?  Shelled fresh lima beans!  Yay!  I immediately started tasting Never Say Never Again Lima Beans in my mind.  So, into my cart they went.

I had recently seen a recipe in Whole Living magazine for a tapas dish of dried lima beans and roasted artichokes.  That was all the inspiration I needed, I was going to try a dish similar to Never Say Never, but this time using artichokes.  I had marinated artichoke hearts in the pantry, tomato confit in the freezer, garlic, sea salt, good extra virgin olive oil and the limas.  Time to play!

Fresh Lima Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes

1/2 to 1 lb fresh lima beans, shelled (locally grown) One note – shelled limas are not as good as when you get them in the pods and shell them yourself.  That extra freshness is worth the effort, I will not fall for ‘easy’ again.

1 6.5-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1 1/2 cups tomato confit (from the garden) (you can also use a 14.5-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

Sea salt, if needed

Preheat oven 375F.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, mix together the limas, tomatoes, artichokes, oil, and garlic.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, enjoy!

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

‘Never Say Never Again’ Lima Beans

If you are like me, you grew up cringing every time you saw lima beans – those yucky, mushy, stinky lima beans.  Never would I eat them, no way, no how.  I’d rather lock myself in the bathroom!

When I moved to Delaware, where they grow lima beans, people would actually look forward to the harvest and pay a premium for fresh pole limas.  What?!  Were these people crazy?  It took me about 15 years of living here before I would try cooked fresh limas.  Once I did, I wondered what took me so long!

Still, I think the preparation is the key, these are fresh beans, so I don’t boil them, I don’t turn them to mush.  I bake them, with tomatoes and olive oil and seasoning.  Very simple, but very rich in flavor.

I grew my own limas last year, that was a lot of fun, but the harvest was a lot of work.  I tried again this year, but the beans never germinated.  So I had to buy beans.  I bought about a half gallon basket, which yielded about a pound of beans, maybe a bit more.

I made them as a side dish to my cornflake crumb chicken tenders (look for the recipe for that in a few days).  So it was kind of a retro-themed dinner – my modern version of a 1950’s lima bean and chicken cutlet dinner.

‘Never Say Never Again’ Lima Beans

1 lb fresh lima beans, shelled

1 16-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes (you can make it with regular diced tomatoes, but the fire-roasted make it even better)

A generous 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

sea salt to taste

Preheat oven 375F.

Spread the lima beans in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Add the tomatoes, oil, garlic, and salt.  Stir to mix.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven, and enjoy!

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Categories: Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 5 Comments

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