Thursday, May 14, 2009

Giant limas with onions and oregano

I find it odd and somewhat distressing that there have been no beans on the blog yet. It is getting warmer, so I'm tending more toward light meals and salads, but as a vegetarian, I eat a lot of beans. I love them. I used to use more canned beans, but I've mostly made the switch to dried. I like my beans pretty al dente, so the canned ones are a bit mushy for me. Plus, I like to control the amount of salt in my food, and it's satisfying to take things that are hard as rocks and turn them into delicious food. I usually make more beans than necessary and freeze the rest for later use. They thaw fairly quickly and are a good addition to salads.

Jon knows how much I like beans and trying new things, so for my birthday last September, he gave me, among other things, about a kilogram of giant lima beans. They are indeed giant.

I should have put a quarter in my hand too, so you could compare. I haven't gotten very adventurous with the limas, mostly because I like this recipe and it's easy, so I just keep using it. It is similar to a recipe in Barbara Kafka's Vegetable Love, but it's way less fussy. She would have you saute it for a while and then bake it for a while, and I just don't have the time for that. It is her idea, though, to combine oregano, mustard, and wine, and I like the flavor combination. This is very simple, and unlike a lot of bean dishes I make, it doesn't work that well as a main dish. Because I associate oregano with Greek cuisine, I really like pairing this with my famous puff pastry spanakopita. I'll post that recipe sometime, too.

Giant limas with onions and oregano (heavily modified from Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka)
1/2 lb dry giant lima beans
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried mustard
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper

Soak the beans in plenty of water overnight, or at least for several hours. Drain, rinse, cover with plenty of water again, and cook them until they're done to your liking. For me, it's about 1/2 an hour. Drain them and set aside.

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until they are translucent. Add the beans, oregano, mustard, and wine. Cook until you're tired of waiting or until the wine has mostly boiled off. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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