A few years ago, our attitude toward Brussels sprouts hadn't changed since childhood. In other words, we didn't want anything to do with them. But they've enjoyed a bit of a resurgence, to put it mildly, and we discovered how delicious they can be. Well, we think it's time another food many of us loved to hate as kids got its turn in the spotlight. That's right, we're talking about lima beans.
Personally, I've never had a problem with lima beans and happily ate them as a child, but I seem to be in the minority on this one. They're not so different from other types of beans, though, with a wonderful buttery texture. I think their inclusion in often overcooked and unseasoned medleys of steamed frozen vegetables has contributed to their bad reputation.
I found this recipe in Gourmet Today, which includes not one, but two delicious-sounding lima bean preparations. The other combines them with corn in a chive cream sauce. Yum. But I couldn't pass up these fresh and simple Greek-style beans. I added some mint, lemon zest and feta cheese to make the dish even more flavorful.
If you can find fresh lima beans, by all means use them. Otherwise, the frozen ones will work just fine.
Greek-Style Lima Beans
Serves 4. Adapted from Gourmet Today.
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested
1 ounce feta cheese
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic. Allow garlic to soften for about 1 minute. Mix in the lima beans, water, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 tablespoon mint and a three-fingered pinch of salt. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 17 to 20 minutes until beans are tender.
Remove from heat and mix in remaining herbs, lemon zest and black pepper to taste. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and crumble feta on top.
Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Christmas Lima Beans
(Images: Joanna Miller)