Lima beans

Recipes for lima, broad or butter beans (white-seeded runner beans make a good ‘butter bean’ substitute for growing in the UK)

BULGAR WHEAT AND BROAD BEAN SALAD
350g or 12oz bulgar wheat
225g or 8oz frozen broad beans
115g or 4oz frozen peas (preferably petit pois)
225g or 8oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
50g or 2oz mangetouts, chopped
50g or 2oz watercress
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
French dressing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak and cook the bulgar wheat according to the packet instructions. Drain thoroughly and put into a serving bowl.
Cook the broad beans and peas in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and add to the prepared bulgar wheat.
Add the cherry tomatoes, onion, pepper, mangetouts and watercress to the bulgar wheat mixture. Toss well together in the bowl until all the ingredients are well combined.
Add the chopped fresh parsley, basil and thyme and French dressing to taste. Season with salt and pepper and toss the ingredients together. Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator before serving. Serves 6.

BUTTER BEAN SALAD
225g or 8oz dried butter beans, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
½ tsp celery seeds
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
225g or 8oz button mushrooms, wiped and sliced
75g or 3oz green olives, stoned and halved
75g or 3oz gherkins, thickly sliced

Drain the beans and rinse well. Place in a pan with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes, then simmer for 35-40 minutes or until soft. Drain well.
Shake the oil, vinegar, tarragon, celery seeds and garlic together in a small screw- top jar. Season well. Pour this mixture over the beans immediately they are cooked, then leave to cool. Toss the beans occasionally during cooling to coat well.
Toss all the remaining ingredients into the bean mixture. Serve at room temperature.

BROAD BEAN BONANZA
¼ cup butter or oil
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup grated carrot
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup flour
¼ tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup vegetable stock
2 eggs, well beaten
½ cup fresh sorrel
½ cup kale, chopped fine
4 cups cooked broad beans

Heat butter and saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic 5-8 minutes. Stir in flour, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Gradually add stock and cook, stirring gently, for 10 minutes. Turn heat down and stir in eggs slowly. Cook a few more minutes and add sorrel, kale and cooked broad beans. Heat through and serve.

GREEN LIMA BEANS IN CHILLI SAUCE
450g or 1lb green lima beans or broad beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
350g or 12oz tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1 or 2 drained canned jalapeno chillies, deseeded and chopped
salt
chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Cook the beans in a saucepan of boiling water until tender (approx.15-20 minutes). Drain and keep hot in the covered saucepan.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is soft but not brown.
Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture thickens. Add the jalapenos and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt.
Pour the mixture over the reserved beans and check that they are hot. If not, return everything to the frying pan and cook over low heat for just long enough to heat through. Put into a warmed serving dish, garnish with coriander and serve. Serves 4.

MIXED VEGETABLES WITH ARTICHOKES
2 tablespoons olive oil
675g or 11/2 lb frozen broad beans
Four turnips, peeled and sliced
Four leeks, sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
200g or 7oz fresh spinach leaves or 115g or 4oz frozen spinach
2 x 400g or 14oz cans artichoke hearts, drained
Four tablespoons pumpkin seeds
soy sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas mark 4. Pour the olive oil into a casserole. Cook the broad beans in a saucepan of boiling lightly salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain the broad beans and place them in the casserole with the turnips, leeks, red pepper, spinach and canned artichoke hearts.
Cover the casserole and bake the vegetables for 30-40 minutes, or until the turnips are slightly soft.
Stir in the pumpkin seeds and soy sauce to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. Serves 4.

POTATO AND BROAD BEAN SALAD
450g or 1lb shelled broad (fava) beans
225g or 8oz very small new potatoes
2 tsp capers (optional)
2 spring onions (scallions)
3 about 4 tablespoons soured cream or Mayonnaise
salt and pepper


Cook the broad beans in boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until just tender. Rinse through with cold water, drain and leave on one side. Wash the potatoes, cut the larger ones in half and cook them for 15 minutes or until just tender.
Drain capers. Trim and finely chop the spring onions. In a bowl combine the beans and potatoes while they are still warm and stir in the capers and soured cream or mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with chopped spring onion. Serves 4.

SWEET AND SOUR MIXED BEAN HOTPOT
450g or 1lb unpeeled potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
40g or 11/2 oz plain wholemeal flour
300ml or ½ pint passata (deseeded tomatoes, liquidised)
150ml or ¼ pint unsweetened apple juice
4 tablespoons each of light soft brown sugar, tomato ketchup, dry sherry, cider vinegar, light soy sauce
400g or 14oz cooked butter beans
400g or 14oz cooked flageolet beans
400g or 14oz cooked chick peas
175g or 6oz green beans, chopped and blanched
225g or 8oz shallots, sliced and blanched
225g or 8oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh thyme and marjoram
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprigs of fresh herbs to garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ gas mark 6. Thinly slice the potatoes and par-boil them for 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes thoroughly. Toss them in the oil so they are lightly coated all over. Set them aside.
Place the butter, flour, passata, apple juice, sugar, tomato ketchup, sherry, vinegar and soy sauce in a saucepan. Heat gently, whisking continuously, until the sauce comes to the boil and thickens. Simmer gently for 3 minutes, stirring.
Rinse and drain the beans and chick peas and add to the sauce with all the remaining ingredients, except the herb garnish. Mix well.
Spoon the bean mixture into a casserole.
Arrange the potato slices over the top, overlapping them slightly and completely covering the bean mixture.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake for about one hour, until the potatoes are cooked and tender. Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of the cooking time, to lightly brown the potatoes. Serve garnished with fresh herb sprigs. Serves 6.

VEGETABLE AND BEAN HOTPOT
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
50g or 2oz butter or margarine
3 large onions, sliced
1 large cabbage
8 large tomatoes
1 large marrow or summer squash
2-3 tsp crushed dried rosemary
salt and pepper
350g or 12oz cooked butter beans (lima beans)
350g or 12oz Cheddar cheese, grated

Set the oven at moderate (180C, 350F, gas 4). In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter or margarine together, add the sliced onions and saute them until they begin to soften. Coarsely shred the cabbage. Chop the tomatoes. Peel and dice the marrow, removing the seeds and pith, and add all the prepared vegetables to the pan with the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the butter beans, transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and bake it for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Top the hotpot with the grated cheese and return it to the oven until the cheese melts. (Cheese can be served separately for sprinkling on.) Serves 12.