Southern Lima Beans

Lima beans have long been, and are still, more widely used in the South than elsewhere. They’re often called “butter beans” and combining them with tomatoes, as in this Creole-influenced recipe, is a common way of preparing them.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons unbleached white flour
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups diced ripe juicy tomatoes with 1/4 cup water, or one 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 4 cups (two 10-ounce packages) thawed frozen baby lima beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • A few grains of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot cooked rice, optional

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until it is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden. Sprinkle in the flour and stir it in until it blends in.

Add the bell pepper and tomatoes and cook, covered, until the tomatoes have softened but aren’t mushy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the water, followed by the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Serve on its own as a side dish or over rice as a main dish.

 

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