not just your average lima bean salad

August 10th, 2008 · 36 Comments

because that would be so very boring.  so very uninteresting.  even downright plebeian.  but if i were to tell you that this was one of the very best things that i have made in as long as i can remember, well – you would just have to take my word. because this bean dish was incredibly delicious. a perfect melding of flavors and textures. and the true test of how good this really must be? it’s that i’d feel pretty damn fine serving this to gabrielle hamilton any day.

i have decided after great thought and inner debate that gabrielle is ‘my chef’.  everyone who cooks is supposed to have ‘that one’ –  that one who inspires them on a level that gets them thinking in the kitchen a certain way.  now, please realize that it’s a serious toss-up between gabrielle and mario.  but mario is decidely italian - all the way and through and through.  and even though i lean heavily in that direction, gabrielle’s food is just simple, rustic perfection that’s really regionless.  i absolutely love the way she cooks - and i feel drawn to her food.  so it’s official, i have declared my loyalty.  and i just know that gabrielle would covet these beans…

rancho gordo’s giant white lima beans are absolutely the best lima’s that i have ever eaten.  they’re so good that after i made this dish, i immediately ordered 5 more bags of the giant white and 3 bags of the christmas lima’s.  because i was afraid that they might run out.  and then i’d be lima bean-less.  and well, we just couldn’t have that.  not after this…

not your average lima bean salad

soak for however long, and then low boil in salted water until the bite is right.  drain and add the following:

your best olive oil
minced garlic
chopped parsley
thinly sliced red onion
lemon zest and some of the juice
pimenton (i use sweet)


it’s one of those dishes where your friends will say to you, "hey (insert your name) what’s in this? because these beans are INCREDIBLE", and you will rattle off the ingredient list and still, they will be perplexed.  because it all sounds way too simple for anything so damn good.  but you see, it’s those RG beans.  they’re dense and creamy - and well, again i declare that they are bean perfection.  and ah, i just now checked their site?  and ummm, they are all sold out.  sorry.  love you.  mean it.  kiss kiss.  come on by and i’ll make you some – cause i have pahlenty!

the buddha is all about the lima beans…

oh, and did i mention the little lollipop lamb chops?  because they were totally the perfect side dish for these lima’s…

Tags: beans · lamb

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert // Aug 10, 2008 at 8:50 pm


    Either those beans are way big, or them lambs was way small………

  • 2 Chris // Aug 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    They are monster beans… And damn tasty.

    I just saw the New York episode of No Reservations again and let me just say, you couldn’t have chosen a better ‘my chef’.

    I am still hunting for mine.

  • 3 evil chef mom // Aug 10, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    if i say bourdain is my chef, you’ll shank me won’t you?

  • 4 Arundathi // Aug 11, 2008 at 12:10 am

    i love love love lima beans. making this today. and yes, i got my own bag of lima, thank you! :)

  • 5 [eatingclub] vancouver || js // Aug 11, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Would you believe I have never had lima beans before? Would you take pity on this poor soul and cook me some? Because I totally believe you. I’ve been gazing at that center bean so longingly and so long like it’s my navel.

    (Okay, I have no thought yet on the ‘my chef’ thing, because I’m totally preoccupied with that center bean. And when I’m done with that, I’m going to look at the bean next to it.)

  • 6 canarygirl // Aug 11, 2008 at 7:19 am

    YESSSS! Giant white limas are EVER so freaking good…The simplicity of the ingredients I think is what really makes these lovelies shine…the perfect balance of just a little flavor to make the beans shine. Awesome. :) I make a winter soup with them that is also pretty sexy….picture them with smokey chorizo and bacon and smokey pimenton… :)

  • 7 lifeinrecipes // Aug 11, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Oh. Your post makes me want to crawl out of bed on a Sunday morning and head over to Prune for a bloody mary and pasta carbonara….then sated, back to bed…mmmm. Nice beans.

  • 8 Becky and the Beanstock // Aug 11, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Well I’ll be trying these for sure. So this is one of those recipes where there’s no “secret ingredient”, per se, but rather the basic ingredients combine in a way that is so totally more than their sum? Those are my favorite — it’s fun to see the surprise on people’s faces when they take a bite. Thanks for sharing this!

  • 9 Mal Carne // Aug 11, 2008 at 8:46 am

    That’s my kind of eating, right there. Humble ingredients, combined well = thing of grace and beauty.

    I do love the addition of lamb chops as a side.

  • 10 The Italian Dish // Aug 11, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Perfetto, Claudia. And I love the photo of the limas with the Buddha.

  • 11 Julie // Aug 11, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Tempt us with those giant white lima beans and then tell us they’re not available? Now that’s just cruel.

    I like the idea of a muse-chef and although I’ve never eaten at Prune, Gabrielle Hamilton seems like a good choice based on how she writes about food. I love this .

  • 12 ayankeeinasouthernkitchen // Aug 11, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Okay Claudia- I spent my childhood trying to figure out how to survive not eating lima beans when they were forced fed to me. But, I am go to trust you and place a long overdue order at RG and will include 1 pkg of lima beans. Because, I would hate to think that I missed out over a childhood bean trauma.

  • 13 Lesley // Aug 11, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Okay, I’m convinced. I’m ordering some beans right away. I’ve always loved limas and I expect to fall in love with these.

  • 14 lisa // Aug 11, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I just happen to have some giant lima beans in my freezer that I cooked a few weeks back. So, I’m feeling pretty lucky right about now. Hope they thaw quickly.

  • 15 MangerLaVille // Aug 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I love rancho gordo beans. It puts other beans to shame. I think it makes any bean dish the shining star. They were so hopeful when I went to the market. I love lamb. This dish sounds simply delicious.

  • 16 cookiecrumb // Aug 11, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    For a side dish to those beans, I’d have had another scoop of those beans.

  • 17 Donald // Aug 11, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Yum! I have stayed away from the limas ’cause I always hated them when I was a kid. I would only eat them in succotash.

    You make them look soooooo appetizing here though.

    Oh yeah, my next (read: 4th) order from RG is due tomorrw! More beans and quinoa!!!

  • 18 melissa // Aug 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Side dish. Heh.

    I believe you about the beans. I finally received and cooked some RG’s myself last week. Just simple pintos. I figured it would be a good start, since we’re not huge bean-eaters, but it would be something we would be able to tell the difference with. And they were SO GOOD. Better than any I’ve ever had, for sure. I have a package of runner cannelini and need to do something with those too.

    I’ll jot this one down. They won’t be sold out forever. ;)

    (P.S. The package on Buddha’s head amuses me to no end.)

  • 19 NOBLE PIG // Aug 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I love lima beans, I know lots of people don’t BUT I DO!

    This is beautiful Claudia. But now my chef, hmmm, it has to be Julia Child, has to be.

  • 20 Lauren // Aug 11, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    those are some serious lima beans you got going on over there…

  • 21 Heather // Aug 11, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Those beans remind me of that scene in Brave Little Tailor when Mickey, Donald and Goofy are starving peasants, all gathered around one bean at the dinner table, which they slice into wafer-thin sections for sharing. I always thought when I was a kid, “where’d they get such a big bean?”

    I couldn’t top thinking about it, and didn’t even care about the dragon-slaying or anything else.

  • 22 Peter G // Aug 12, 2008 at 4:35 am

    Ok…just this once I’ll allow the lamb to be the side dish because those beans look darn good! I must say the flavour and ingredient combination is perfect. Pleasure to drop by and discover your blog!

  • 23 democommie // Aug 12, 2008 at 5:50 am


    I think it’s safe to say there is no such thing as bad food (aka Lima beans, liver, tripe, etc.,.) only badly prepared food.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Lima beans because they’ve always been nasty. Those beans (especially with the lambipops garnish) look , well, I licked the screen!

  • 24 Emily Walters // Aug 12, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    The Bean that Ate Clevelend.


  • 25 Sandy S // Aug 12, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Oh those big, gorgeous beans! And this is my kind of recipe – a little of this, a little of more of that. I saw Gabrielle’s Iron Chef battle the other night and thought, “Hmm. Now there’s a chef after my own heart!” Glad to “meet” a kindred spirit! :)

  • 26 Peter // Aug 12, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    RG beans are the shit. Period. And the lollipop chops look pretty skippy, too. Nice work.

  • 27 Natalie // Aug 12, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    SOLD. I am going there immediately and buying some. MMMMM…beans are good.

  • 28 maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) // Aug 12, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    yum. i did something similar with white beans (though I guess I gussied it up with heirloom tomato and hungarian pepper), but I will definitely do this lima bean thing.

  • 29 democommie // Aug 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm


    That book I’ve been reading, “The Perfectionist” –page 11o, the tarte fine aux pommes–is delicious. Have you read it?

  • 30 We Are Never Full // Aug 14, 2008 at 8:56 am

    as you know… i have a serious girl-crush on gabrielle hamilton. like, so bad that i have been double-checking my sexuality! ok, so that’s a bit exaggerated but i totally give you props on declaring your loyalty.

    those beans look thick, fatty and buttery delicious. i love how simply (ala gabrielle) you dressed them. Delicioso!

  • 31 Ethel // Aug 14, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    After seeing those beans and reading into your enthusiasum, of course I am going to make them. I can always taste your food just from the reading. You make it all come alive , with all my senses.
    And I also love lamb chops… what a winning combo.

  • 32 E for KC // Aug 15, 2008 at 7:55 am

    I LOVE lima beans and I’ve made them a million ways but never with cayenne. I love that idea. I’m going to start spicing up my beans.

  • 33 TaratheFoodie // Aug 21, 2008 at 7:29 am

    That bean salad sounds really good and hello lamb chops! We haven’t had lamb in a while in our house… we must fix that.

    My “the one” would have to be Bobby Flay. Rick Bayless would be a very very close second. I know what you mean about a chef making you think a certain way in the kitchen. When I’m coming up with recipes, I almost always think to myself, “What would Bobby do?”. Works every time!

  • 34 cook eat FRET - toasted farro, fennel and orange salad // Aug 21, 2008 at 10:37 pm

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  • 35 Kate // Aug 25, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I made the husband a steak the other night and roasted tomatoes and mushrooms as a side dish, but wanted something more. So, I made a variation on this, with great northern beans along with the limas, and I gave some shallots a quick saute in the place of your red onion. I played around with proportions of the spices, and cooked the beans with bay leaf and garlic for extra flavor. It was really, really wonderful. I can’t wait for lunch today, because it’s my leftovers.

  • 36 them apples // Sep 28, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Those beans look great, but the carnivore in me is drooling over the lamb…

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