Saturday, July 17, 2010

These Ain't Your Mama's Lima Beans

When I was a kid I hated lima beans. Everytime we had them, which was rare suggesting my mother didn't like them either, they were dry and tasteless. I can still remember them crumbling in my mouth requiring an extra gulp of cold milk to wash them down - yuck! So, when my boyfriend suggested we buy lima beans at the farmer's market this weekend I was less than excited about the idea; however, I figured it was worth trying them again. Afterall these beans were fresh, not frozen like the ones from my childhood memory, and we all know fresh tastes best. So, I agreed to give it a go. After doing a bit of research, this is the recipe we came up with. Much to my surprise these beans are good, really good, like I might eat the entire batch in one day good.

Lima Bean Succotash
2 C shelled fresh lima beans (about a pint)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp diced onion
2 Tbsp diced shallot (about 1/4 of a large shallot)
3 strips bacon*
1 C peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomato (about 1 large slicing tomato)
2 C corn kernels, freshly cut from the cob (about 2 medium ears)
1 tsp butter
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the beans, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the beans, refill the pot with fresh water** and bring to a boil. Add the beans and boil for 3 minutes longer. Drain and set aside.

Add oil to a cast iron skillet set to medium heat. Once oil is warm, add the onion, shallot, and bacon. Once the onion softens and becomes translucent add the tomato and corn, heat through. Add the lima beans, butter, salt, and pepper; heat through. Serve immediately.

* Note: I used pre-cooked bacon. If you use uncooked bacon you may need to cut down on the amount of olive oil you use.

** Note: Raw lima beans contain plycosides that create poisonous hydrocyanic acid in the human digestive system; the poison is destroyed by boiling the beans. You should discard the first pot of water to get rid of any plycosides that may have been released during the cooking.

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