Luscious Lima Action
This recipe was born of a 100% “oh, crap” moment – I was cooking dinner for myself when I found out that a few good friends were on the way over to share a drink. My Brazilian/Italian roots are firmly planted in perennial hospitality – if people come over and you’re eating, you absolutely share what you’ve got, small though it may be. There’s a Brazilian song that says that the more people that come over, the more water you add to your beans to thin them out. All are welcome.
My dinner for one was barely enough to share with 4 hungry ladies, so I found myself rummaging through the freezer and pantry for items to whip into something special. In a moment of divine inspiration, I threw leftover lima beans, parsley, and lemon into the food processor and blitzed away. The result, similar to what Cesar Cardini must have felt when he turned lowly anchovies, garlic, eggs and oil into caesar dressing, was majesty.
This recipe is similar to a popular crostini topping that I used to eat all the time in Orvieto – there it was made from fava beans (or broad beans) and drizzled with fruity, golden olive oil. The lima beans are great because they’re easy to pull out of the freezer in a pinch, and cheaper than fava beans. That being said, if you see fresh fava beans at the market, grab them and try them as a replacement for the limas – they are so lovely. I like this bruschetta plain, but for a bit of decadence, you can crumble a bit of ricotta salata over the top for some added salty goodness. Lowly limas never had it so good.
This recipe is hard to make smooth without a food processor, but you can certainly do it with a mortar and pestle (or a mocajete). Just make sure to chop your herbs first, and then stage the ingredients in the same order as listed for the food processor in the instructions below.
Lima Bean Bruschetta
10 oz. of frozen lima beans
1 c. of water
1 tbs. of lemon juice, freshly-squeezed
2 tbs. of red wine vinegar
1/3 c. of olive oil
2 – 4 cl. of garlic
4 leaves of basil
5 sprigs of parsley, leaves removed and stems discarded (save stems for stock)
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper
Put the lima beans and water in a pot and cook until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Drain and rinse with water to cool.
To your food processor, add your garlic, basil, parsley, salt and red pepper. Pulse until chopped finely. Add the vinegar, lemon and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Remove to a tupperware and chill. Serve spread on grilled bread or crackers and drizzled with good olive oil.