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Balkan Baked Lima Beans Recipe

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Baked Lima Beans

Baked Lima Beans

© Flickr by One30outerspace
This recipe for Balkan baked lima beans is from Michael Bash, now living in Greece, by way of his mother-in-law, Anastasia Camche. The dish is usually served as a side dish with grilled meats. But it can become a vegetarian main course or, depending on the amount of liquid added, can actually be a hearty soup. This recipe can be doubled.

Makes 6 servings of Balkan Baked Lima Beans

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups giant lima beans (also known as butter beans), soaked overnight
  • 1 medium peeled and sliced carrot
  • 1 rib sliced celery
  • 2 medium peeled and sliced onions
  • 3/4 cup + 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves sliced garlic
  • 1 beef or vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons medium hot paprika
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped parsley

Preparation:

  1. Place soaked and drained lima beans in a large Dutch oven or lidded pot. Cover with water and bring to the boil. When white foam rises to the surface, drain and rinse the beans.

  2. Return beans to the pot with water to cover. Add carrot, celery, 1 sliced onion, 3/4 cup olive oil and garlic. Cook, covered, until almost done.

  3. In a skillet, saute remaining sliced onion in 1/2 cup olive oil until translucent. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon paprika and cook a few minutes. Transfer to the pot of beans. Add 1 cup water to the skillet, scraping up any brown bits, and add to the beans along with bouillon cube and tomato paste. Return to the boil, adding water as necessary, and chopped parsley. Adjust salt.

  4. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Transfer beans to a wide, shallow pan and top with remaining tablespoon of paprika, cumin, black pepper, and a film of olive oil. Bake, uncovered, until sauce begins to boil, about 30 minutes, adding additional water, if necessary. For best flavor, serve warm not piping hot.
Michael Bash says: The question with all of this is the amount of liquid left at the end. With too much water, the product will be soupy; with too little, drier than you want. Ideally there should be some 'sauce' and a good bit of the delicious red oil which, to me, besides the beans is the whole point of the exercise."
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