Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans

I came across this recipe when I'd made a big pot of beautiful mottled Christmas lima beans that needed to find an end use.  We've since eaten this dish at least three times and I can attest to it's craveworthy-ness (that is so a word).  Found the recipe on a CSA site, but the original comes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz' "Veganomicon".  Freezes well and it's great just paired with a salad.

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans:

1 lb dried, large lima beans, soaked for 8 hours
2 quarts of water
2 bay leaves

vegetable bouillon cube (I use the equivalent of Better Than Bouillon, 1 tsp for the cup of bean cooking liquid)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
1 small carrot, shredded
28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs pure maple syrup or agave nectar
1 Tbs dried oregano (I use Greek as opposed to Mexican for a less pungent flavor)
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
black pepper
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
3 Tbs fresh mint, finely chopped

Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large pot with the 2 quarts of cold water and the bay leaves.

Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low.  Simmer the beans for 30 minutes, until tender but not fully cooked (the interior of the beans will still be grainy).
Skim off any foam that may collect while the beans are cooking.  Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid and set aside (leave the bay leaves with the beans).
Dissolve the vegetable bouillon in the reserved 1 cup of hot cooking liquid and set aside.

While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 375.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle.  Add the onion and stir until translucent and softened, 3-4 minutes.  Add the carrot, stir and cook for another minute, add tomatoes, reserved veggie bouillon, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, maple syrup,
oregano, thyme, salt and nutmeg.  Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 10-12 minutes to reduce the sauce a little.  Taste the sauce and season with black pepper and more salt if necessary.  Add the tomato sauce, parsley and mint to the beans in your Dutch oven, stirring to incorporate.

Put the cover on your Dutch oven and bake the beans, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until they are tender and the interior of the beans is creamy.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to reduce the sauce a little bit and give the beans a slightly dry finish.  Remove from oven, remove bay leaves and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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