Looks like I consulted my Porter paint chip booklet for the perfect combination of lima beans greens and tomato yellows in this Lima Bean Tabouli. I highly recommend lima salads to any home cook looking for a signature dish.
I can’t stop making lima bean salads. In fact, any number of variations are my go-to dish for a potluck. They’ve certainly helped secure my reputation as a “sensible creative.” You see, with a bag of limas in the freezer and pretty much anything else in your crisper drawer, you can make a great salad. The dressing is often the same–olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Now play with the colors.
Limas have a way of making everything look more beautiful. Sort of like a rose-colored room. But those frozen limas can stay where they are for now because right now– mid-July and August–is the only time we can play around with the freshly shelled beans. It’s quite a sight at the farmers market. In Nashville, we can get a nice assortment of fresh beans and peas–purple hull, crowders, black eyes, white crowders, lady peas, limas. For easy shucking, they put the bean pods in a long round basket that looks like it should be filled with giant bingo numbers. Somehow the prongs on the inside pull off the pods and free the little beans as the basket rotates.
Those are all the empty beans pods that fall out of the bottom. They’re really soft and they smell earthy and good.
Over in the fresh bean stand, there wasn’t an heirloomer in sight. Instead the line was long with women who clearly have generations of home canners and freezers in their families. Most of the gals were buying more than one of those giant bags. Wish I had.
Big bags of fresh peas headed for pots and freezers across Middle Tennessee.
Those are fresh limas on the left and a bag of fresh purple hull peas on the right.
- 1 pound fresh (or frozen) lima beans cooked in salted simmering water just until tender and not mushy, drained and cooled
- 3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- About 1 cup chopped fresh parsley (use as much as you like)
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced (any variety, even a handful of cherry tomatoes are nice)
Combine the beans, celery, onions, and parsley in a large bowl.
Dress with olive oil and stir until the beans look nice and glossy, but not drowning in oil.
Add the juice of one lemon and season with salt and pepper.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
You may like it tangier with more lemon or it may need a tad more salt.
Chill before serving. Gently stir in the tomatoes just before serving. Makes 8 servings.