lima beans with tomatoes and onions

butter beans with green and yellow tomatoes

Sometimes I have this elaborate story to tell you about how this or that recipe came to me. And at other times, I don’t. I have cravings I cannot quite rationalize, I then will literally dream about the dish and the next day I must make it or hell will freeze over.

KS has by now learned not to argue with my cravings. Even at times when we have other food in the fridge practically going to waste – if I get that look in my eyes, all bets are off. It’s on occasions like these that I develop what he calls “food hands”. I’d be shoving a forkful of food in my mouth and hear him say under his breath, “Foodhands!!” For the readers scratching their heads over the term, imagine, if you will, preternatural hand speed made popular in the Matrix series, but focused on food consumption as opposed to hacking your enemy to bits. Food hands seem to say, “Come near me and my food, and scary things might happen to you.” Apparently, my diminutive stature is very deceiving when it comes to feeding myself.

my favorite beans

After our SC sojourn, I’ve been craving large lima beans, the kind you soak over night and cook for over an hour the next day. The kind that when expand are as big as well-sized almonds. They’re also often called butter beans, and in my lexicon they’re called “edible bliss”. They are indeed very buttery, earthy, filling and definitely satisfying. They’re my favorite bean in the whole wide world and I could probably eat them if not every day, then very often indeed.

And that’s about all on these beans. With the abundant and sinfully good tomatoes we have in season right now, these beans are simply heavenly. And with fall creeping up on us, they’re somewhat of a good segue into the season. A little earthy and yet when eaten cold the next day (that is if you have leftovers) – a little summery. Or if you want to puree them in a food processor and serve warm, drizzled with some good olive oil, they’re heavenly on crostini.

Of course, with a dish this good – you too could develop food hands. And then your loved ones might be in danger.

1 cup dry lima bean (butter beans)
2 tbp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic smashed with a chef’s knife
1 large onion, chopped
2 pint golden cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large green zebra tomato, chopped

Soak the beans overnight in 3 cups of water.
Place the beans in a pot, add 2 ½ cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for an hour until the beans are tender. Drain the remaining liquid and set aside.

In a non-stick skillet, warm up the olive oil on low heat and add the smashed garlic cloves to the warming oil to flavor the oil. After five minutes discard the garlic cloves.

Add the chopped onion to the oil and sauté until the onion becomes limp and transparent. Add the golden tomatoes and half the green zebra tomato and sauté until they look wilted and softened. What you don’t want is to overcook the tomatoes – you want them warmed, wilted, softened, but not “decomposed”. Add salt to taste – depending on how much you like, but I like a small sprinkling.

Finally add the butter beans and sauté only for enough time to warm the beans, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve in bowls with a bit of really good extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top and the remaining green zebra tomato as a side.


  • Jeni

    I laughed out loud at your foodhands description! I am with you on big beans – yummy comfort food and they’re just coming into season now!

  • radish

    Ha, thanks Jeni – I love this dish – hope you do as well. As for food hands, my boyfriend’s mom didn’t even notice me scarfing my dinner last night – I was the first one to clear my plate. Yep, this is how it’s done!

  • ann

    Oh yeah, I’ve seen that look in Isaac’s eyes, the look that says, “really? with all those leftovers in the fridge? really? you want to make something else?” and I just shrug and go, “but I waaaaant polenta!” and he just shrugs and sighs. Foodhands. I’ll have to share that with him. you should explore the beautiful world of dried fava beans. They’re split and cook up in no time and have a similar flavor to the large limas. They form a puree though, a delicious puree, that reminds me an awful lot of limas.

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