Personally, I don't remember my mom making lima beans... we mostly had peas which I had to learn to love as an adult and would often convince myself I was incapable of swallowing. More often than not I would squirrel them away in my cheek and spit them out into the toilet discreetly after every meal. Patooey!
But I digress about peas.
It's been quite a while since I posted on this dusty old blog; but over Thanksgiving I made my sneaky lima bean recipe and my in-laws couldn't believe what they were eating. I promised to send the recipe, thinking I had written it down once here on this dusty old online missive. Well, searching for that elusive recipe led to reading, which led me to a freshly piqued interest in sharing and writing. I guess I've grown tired of the "passed notes" interaction of social media and while writing this blog isn't truly social at all, as it means me typing away in a room alone, it has a memoir-ish, journal-y quality that appeals to me much more. So here I sit and write again!
Sadly, I have no pictures of the lima bean spread, nor do I have pictures of our Thanksgiving gathering aside from the weather outside. Picture a wintery landscape from the Hudson Valley School, circa 1800 and that should do it.
I used to make this for parties at my first clients house and he would have me announce (with a slight degree of drama) what they had eaten only after people agreed they like them. "Hah!" he would leap forward, "they're LIMA BEANS!! I used to always hate them!!" Murmur murmur.
Make a batch and trick your friends!
One final plug for these little unloved legumes- they're super cheap and a good way to get great nutrition. Here’s what I found online:
Lima Beans are nutrient-dense food... They are good source of manganese, iron, copper, isoleucine, vitamin C, tryptophan, valine and phosphorus. They also contain Vitamin B1, B6, B3, B9, B2, B5 and K. A cup of Lima Beans – about 156 grams of beans-has about 176 calories.
No wonder our moms shoved them down our gullets when we were all kids!
LIMA BEAN SPREAD
I put this out with the antipasti, but you could easily serve it up with crusty bread as a tartine (open faced sandwich) or on the side with pasta.
1 package frozen green lima beans
2-3 T olive oil
1/2 T chopped sage leaves (5-6 whole if you don’t feel like chopping!)
3 large garlic cloves, smashed with the side of the knife, skin still on
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put the lima beans in a pot and fill with water until it is 2” above the surface of the beans. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium low for 40 minutes.
2. Once the limas are done, heat the oil over medium heat in a wide skillet. Add the garlic and fry for 5-8 minutes, turning a couple of times. It should have a nice golden color and no brown from caramelization.
3. Add the sage and quite a bit of pepper, freshly ground. I like about 10-15 cranks. The heat will mellow the pepper.
4. Once the sage has gotten fragrant and seems crisp, add the lima beans with a slotted spoon, taking care not to transfer a lot of liquid.
5. Let the lima beans fry in the oil for about 5 minutes, then add about 2 T of the reserved lima liquid plus 1t salt.
6. Cook out the liquid, then add another 2T, mash like you would potatoes.
7. Add more liquid if you feel the consistency is too thick. I like it to be somewhere between oatmeal consistency and a pureed soup. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
Serve hot or cold