The Department of Salad: Official Bulletin

We have that Lima bean recipe you asked for.

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The Department of Not a Salad: An Occasional Extra from the Lab

I RECENTLY MENTIONED A RECIPE for Lima beans with cumin and cream, which elicited a recipe request from some of you. I’m sorry it took me so long, especially since it’s super-delicious and soothing. It’s a recipe you can do two ways: one with cream, one without (and a big squeeze of lemon). I developed this and several othe simple bean concoctions for the wonderful Steve Sando, of the California heirloom bean company Rancho Gordo. They’re just the best. I’ll post the link to those recipes again at the end here. 

With cream

*Recipe: Large White Limas Two Ways

  • 1⁄2 pound Rancho Gordo Large White Limas, sorted, rinsed, and soaked for 4 to 6 hours

  • 2 to 3 large Parmesan rinds (I like to use a lot; ask the grocer to save them for you if they don’t sell them in the cheese department; they’re essential!)

  • 2 to 3 large carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced into 1⁄2 inch pieces

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Fresh lemon juice for serving (optional, but not really)

  • Kosher or flaky sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1⁄2 cup or more heavy cream (optional)

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of ground cumin (optional) 

  1. Drain and rinse the beans, then place in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, with water to cover by about 2 inches. Add the Parmesan rinds. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 5 minutes, being careful not to scorch the beans. Reduce to a simmer. Add the carrots, onion, and a big splash of olive oil to the pot. 

  2.  Continue to cook until tender, about 45 to 90 minutes. If you’re having the basic version, taste for salt, then serve the beans with their liquor, in bowls accompanied by olive oil and lots of lemon juice for diners to add at the table (cut up a ton of lemon wedges). 

  3. For the creamy version, pour off about a cup and a half of the pot liquor (reserve this), stir in about a half a cup of cream; season with cumin to taste,
    but be careful. I use about a half teaspoon. If it’s too creamy, correct by adding more of the pot liquor and simmering a bit longer. 

Without cream, with lemon

Here's the link to the recipes; it’s a PDF that you can download.  

And here’s the link to Rancho Gordo. Another one of my favorite beans is the Christmas Limas, which changed my life forever. There’s a simple recipe for preparing them in the PDF.

See you next Friday!