Lima Bean Salad. The Unconventional “Green” Salad.

by Min Merrell
lima bean salad, winter salad

Rely on frozen lima beans for winter fresh green lima bean salad.

After a bountiful year of farmers’ market and CSA fruit and vegetable mother lodes, what’s a salad-craving, vegetable-loving low-carbon footprint locavore to do in February?  Stick your head in the supermarket freezer and say hey to Clarence Birdseye, that’s what.  And let Frozen Freshness Month begin.

More than just a brand name, the real Mr. Birdseye actually developed the method for flash freezing perishable foods to allow them to retain their fresh taste, texture, and appearance. We have old Clarence to thank every time we cook up a pot of delicate, delicious petite peas anytime of the year.  Once a delicacy, peas are now a kitchen freezer staple thanks to flash freezing. And that’s just the beginning. While you’re poking around in there, check out the collard and turnip greens, broccoli florets, sugar snap peas, crowder peas, snow peas, Fordhook lima beans, Italian pole beans, cut okra, black eyed peas, shoepeg corn, speckled butter beans and spinach, all picked and frozen right at their peak.

There is nothing wrong with frozen vegetables. They’re good for you and they’re easy to fix, so give yourself permission to enjoy this tried and true modern convenience. Spring will be here soon enough.

Unfortunately, today’s supermarket freezer section carries its share of baggage. Cluttered and over-marketed as the rest of the store, it’s easy to pass by the plain old vitamin-rich, low calorie vegetables hidden among the bagel bites, lean cuisine, cheesy garlic bread, and tater tots. If the idea of a bowl of hot peas isn’t doing it for you, how about a green salad for February?

The Cheater Chef Winter Green Salad starts with a big family-size bag of baby lima beans. To cook beans for a salad, you’ll want the beans to retain their shape, not turn to mush like a pot of white beans. Think al dente. It’s easy to do, but don’t leave your post at the stove when cooking. The beans should take about 20 minutes, but check them often. Once cooked, drain them and let them cool. Now toss in the other vegetables and dressing ingredients. Just like lettuce salads, color is important. For this winter green salad we’re sticking with green and purple.

How about a salad of mashed limas with zucchini.

How about making Tabouli with Lima Beans.

How about making Tabouli with Lentils.


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