I usually don’t spend $9 a pound on beans. I’m a fairly frugal shopper and prefer to shop sales, thrift and outlet clothing stores. But occasionally, I indulge. Especially when it comes to food. Now, don’t get me wrong. I only, and when I say only, I mean only purchase quality natural foods. You will never find me shopping at a major commercial grocery chain with a cart full of Stouffer’s pizzas and Cheetos. Doesn’t happen. It’s not that I’m a snob, (ok maybe a little) but I’ve been eating natural and organic for close to 20 years and dumping and handful of M&M’s in my mouth just doesn’t come naturally for me. It’s not that I don’t partake in the occasional indulgence, it’s just that when I do, I still choose clean, natural food.
When I was a teenager (mid 80’s, folks) in high school, for no apparent reason, I stopped drinking soda. Just decided, out of the blue, that it wasn’t good for me and that my drink of choice would be water. When I was 18 I became a vegetarian. No longer a vegetarian, as we know, (still don’t drink soda) but you get my drift. Eating well and healthy is a part of who I am, which, apparently, occasionally leads me to purchase a pound of heirloom beans for $9.
These beans, goodness, these beans are beautiful. Heirloom Christmas Lima beans grown in Zursun, Idaho. When I happened upon them at City Market, I knew a passive glance was not enough. My friend Beth found me, beans in hand, staring at them wide-eyed and fixated on their mottled and tie-dyed patterns. I was in love.
I originally picked up some arugula to serve with these, but when I found fava greens at the farmer’s market, I knew they would be the perfect accompaniment. OK, well, I’ve never had fava greens before, but their delicate sage green color and, oh, the possibilities (not to mention my unnatural lust for fava beans) were enough to persuade me to give them a shot.
They did not disappoint. They have an every so slight lemony quality that a quick wilt and a dash of tarragon helped to enhance.
You can surely uses any beans you like with this recipe, it’s simple and versatile, but I won’t fault you if, like me, heirloom beans make you weak in the knees.
Heirloom Christmas Lima Beans with Fava Greens and Spring Garlic
What you’ll need~
1 cup dried Christmas Lima Beans, or beans of your choice
One bunch spring garlic, coarsely chopped
A few handfuls fava greens, gently torn
Salt and Pepper
Soak beans overnight in three cups of water.
After soaking, rinse beans and place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 quarts of fresh water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid just slightly ajar.
Cook until beans are tender. About 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Once beans are cooked, drain and set aside.
Warm olive oil in a medium saucepan. Saute garlic until just softened and beginning to caramelize.
Add beans and let cook in a single layer for about 4 minutes. Turn beans and cook other side for about another 4 minutes.
Sprinkle tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.
Toss in fava greens and stir for a minute or two until just wilted.