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Aug 24, 2010 12:21 PM

Fresh Lima Beans?

A nrighbor just gave me a bag of these from her garden. I've never made them before. The pods are green but the beans inside are dark pink streaked with white, and they are large -- abot 1 inch long. Her directions were of the "cook them till they're done" variety. Mark Bittman says a bit of water, salt and butter and simmer covered about 10 minutes, then cook the remaining liquid off. Does that sound right to those of you who know what you're doing?

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  1. Shell them. You want the beans inside, not the pods. (Well, I should say that is how we have always eaten them). Cover the beans with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper, and some butter, if you like. My grandmother would've added a piece of salt pork at the beginning of the cooking time. I normally just go with seasoning with salt and pepper.

    1. Fresh Lima beans are green, unless there is some exotic variety I'm not familiar with.

      1. i render a little bacon fat from a good piece of bacon, diced, then add the shelled beans and enough water to cover plus an inch. bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer covered for about eight to ten minutes then test for tenderness. salt at this point. go from there. <if you use less water, so there is less pot liquor, be sure that they don't dry out or scorch.> sometimes my mom would add milk to the simmer.

        i like them served with butter, salt and pepper.
        eat with some non-sweet cornbread.

        must be some neat variety of bean. photo?
        don't overcook. don't oversalt. cook them ASAP for best quality.

        1. They sound beautiful! Do they look like this? If so, they may be Christmas limas.

          I really like this summer succotash with fresh corn, lima beans, and tomatoes. Recipe is from Bon Appetit.

          Another good recipe is Simple Garlicky Lima Beans from "Cooking Light."

          2 Replies
          1. re: toveggiegirl

            Yes, they looked just like those Christmas limas but cooked up to an interesting lavendar color. I did cook them within hours of being given them. Just did them in lightly salted water and a little butter, then freshly ground pepper when serving. They were outstanding! A nearby farm stand has them so will be getting more tomorrow. Thanks to all for your help!

            1. re: GretchenS

              Sounds delicious. I've been getting baby limas (already shelled) in my veggie box and they've been wonderful. We like succotash, also.

          2. Around here they are often called "speckled" or "calico" butter beans. There are several varieties of this type bean ~~ Popular cooking method is to generously cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer ~~ Season with any of the usual suspects...Bacon/Ham/Hocks/Salt Pork/etc etc.
            No self respecting Southern cook I know would "cook the remaining liquid off" Horrors!!! ~~ The pot-likker is very desirable/delicious.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Uncle Bob

              That's right, Uncle Bob...serve in a bowl with the liquid then crumble a homemade biscuit or some cornbread over the top and/or use them to dunk into the juices and go to work on it!