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Matthew Cobb

Baked Limas with Tomatoes and Peppers

1/2 pound of Christmas lima beans or large white lima beans (1 heaped cup)
1 quart water
1 onion, quartered
2 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 or 2 sprigs thyme
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, peeled
1 red pepper, diced
Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or parsley

(Be sure to adjust cooking teams for fresh beans.)
1. Rinse the beans and combine with the water, onion, half of the garlic, bay leaf and thyme in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for one hour. Add salt to taste, and continue to simmer gently for another 45 minutes to an hour until the beans are thoroughly tender but still intact. Remove from the heat. Remove the onion, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Set a colander over a bowl and drain the beans.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice half of the tomatoes and set aside. Seed and chop the rest. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tender, five to eight minutes. Add the remaining garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, red pepper flakes, paprika and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat, about 10 minutes. Add half the chopped mint or parsley, and stir in the beans and 1 1/2 cups of broth (reserve what remains in the bowl). Transfer to a baking dish, and arrange the sliced tomatoes on top.

3. Place in the oven, and bake one hour. Check from time to time to make sure the beans aren't drying out. If they are, add about 1/2 cup of the reserved broth. Remove from the heat, and sprinkle the remaining parsley or mint over the top. Serve hot or warm.

Yield: Serves six.

Nutritional information per serving: 177 calories; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 26 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 10 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during preparation); 9 grams protein

Source: The New York Times, July 27, 2010

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