Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Word about (Fresh) Lima Beans

YUM! And here's another word: DOUBLE YUM!!

Ok, that was two words but I don't care. That's how excited I am about them. I had a specific shopping list for the Green Market yesterday, something I don't usually have. I usually wander around and grab anything (and everything) that catches my fancy, but this time I was on a mission. And I was finding everything I needed, including the fresh cranberry beans I wanted so I could make Lamb and Cabbage Stew with Fresh Beans with, you know, fresh beans instead of the canned kidney beans I used the first time I made it. (I actually have lamb this time, too.)

I also had in mind a tabbouleh-style salad to make for work lunches when I got home last night from what was going to be a late night without much time to cook. I had half a bunch of broccoli rabe and a fresh tomato and I decided that would be a good way to use them. I didn't make the decision in enough time to soak some chickpeas, so I decided I would buy a can at the grocery store on the way home.

And then I saw that they had fresh lima beans right next to the cranberry beans at one of my favorite stalls. Fresh beans would cook up quickly and didn't need soaking so I thought it might be an interesting experiment to use the lima beans instead of buying canned chickpeas. So I bought some of those as well.

When I got home last night, I put some water on to boil and washed and shelled the beans. They only took about ten minutes to cook, then I drained them and put them in a bowl to cool a little while I prepared the rest of the salad.

I put the bulgur in a bowl and started chopping an onion. I decided I had better try one of the lima beans to make sure they were done, so I took one of the biggest beans and put it in my mouth.

Where it melted. Like butter. So I ate another one, just to be sure. Melted. Butter. Soft, mushy, buttery, with only the mildest flavor (unlike the overpowering flavor of their dried counterparts), I could not stop eating them. They never made it into the salad. I ate the whole bowl's worth, one at a time, with my fingers. I didn't even salt them, they were that good.

So my tabbouleh salad is bean-less. No matter - it was worth it. I only hope they still have some on Saturday morning, because I definitely need some more of those before they are gone.

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