Lima Beans prepared like Greek Fava Beans
This dish, based on a traditional Greek way to prepare fresh fava beans, works extremely well with frozen Fordhook limas, which are available at supermarkets. I’ve compared the limas side by side with true favas, and they come out very close.
|Bowl: Nancy Green, Watkinsville, GA|
True fava beans are Old World beans common in the Mediterranean, while limas are New World beans (from Peru originally, indicated by their name). Favas are tediously difficult to shell from their pods, need to have the skins individually removed from around the beans, and are limited in season plus expensive. Fordhook style lima beans can be bought frozen relatively inexpensively in the supermarket.
I’ve taught the recipe several times to classes in Athens (GA) that had pretty extensive international experience, and the dish was very popular.
The recipe serves six as a side dish.
3 tablespoons minced onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
Large pinch black pepper
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen Fordhook (large) lima beans
1 tablespoon tomato paste or 1 Roma tomato, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill (strongly preferred) or minced flat parsley
In cooking pot, gently fry onion in oil until it softens but does not start to brown. Add water, salt and pepper.
When mixture boils, stir in frozen limas. Bring back to a boil, stirring frequently. Then cover pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans become tender, 15 minutes or so.
Add tomato paste or diced tomato, plus a little water if becoming dry. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, five minutes. Taste a bean. It should be fairly tender and creamy. If salt is needed, add a little. Add a little water if too dry.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and dill or parsley.