lima queen

Monday, July 24, 2006

learn to love the lowly lima

The lima bean is truly wonderous legume. Unfortunately, most people have only had bland store-bought canned limas! The perfectly cooked lima bean is truly a rapturous culinary experience. But you don't have to take [i]my[/i] word for it! Here's a recipe that will convince you:

[b]Southern-Style Limas[/b]

1 large onion, quartered
1 large green bell pepper, quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5 strips tempeh bacon (I like the LightLife Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips)
2 tbs. olive oil (extra virgin is the most flavorful)
5 c. water or vegetable broth
1 tbs salt
2 tbs Tabasco chipotle sauce
2 c. fresh limas, or 2 c. soaked limas dried limas*

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. When hot, sautee the quartered onion, garlic, and tempeh bacon for 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, carrot, and limas. Cover with the water or broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat until just simmering, and cook for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add the salt and chipotle sauce (this is to ensure the skins do not split on your beans). Cook for another 30 minutes and check for doneness. The beans should be either completely or very nearly done. If the beans need more time, keep simmering and check every 15 minutes until tender.

Serve with cornbread, and a green salad. Delicious!

*Beans that you buy in the store in bags or in bulk bins have been dried for longer shelf life. These beans must be soaked prior to cooking-- do not skip the soak!! Rinse your beans and then soak them in a 1:3 ratio (1 c. beans to 3 c. water) for at least four hours, but preferably six. Discard any floating beans. You can either use the soaking water for cooking, or discard and use fresh water. Using the soaking water will create a more flavorful, nutritious broth. . . but it also may cause more "music" later in the evening.