Heirloom Bean Salad (ME)


I am fascinated with heirloom seeds and vegetables. There are so many vast and unique varieties just waiting to be loved and tasted. In particular, I’ve been fascinated with Christmas Lima Beans since I saw them on the cover of Barbara Kingsolver’s enlightening book, Animal Vegetable Miracle.

The stunning red and white beans aren’t as pretty once they’re cooked, but the flavor is outstanding – like a butterbean or baked potato. Even a non-lima bean lover can appreciate these tasty beans in this simple salad. I’ve tried it out on a few myself to be sure.

    16 oz. Christmas Lima Beans, Dried*
    12 Oz. Jar of Artichoke Hearts in Water, each heart cut into quarters
    2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
    1 Tbsp Dried Ginger, very finely chopped
    2 Tsp dried Italian Seasoning Mix (Parsley, Rosemary, Oregano, etc.)
    2 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Sage
    4 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
    1/2 Cup Red Wine Vingegar
    1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Fresh Ground Sea Salt
    Fresh Ground Black Pepper

    *Any beans can be substituted for this heirloom variety. It is often easiest to find heirloom beans in dried form and prep them as noted below. You can also use multiple varieties of canned beans and fresh beans (cooked until tender) in place of dried beans to save time. You can also mix multiple types of beans for color and taste variation.

    1. Rinse beans with cool water until water runs clear. Cover beans with fresh water and cover with a lid. Let sit at room temperature overnight. In the morning you will note much of the water is absorbed and the beans have swelled greatly.
    2. Drain off all remaining water. Fill pan with fresh water so just a few beans are breaking the surface of the water (not too full). Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low heat and let simmer 2-3 hours as needed for your particular bean. The Christmas Lima Beans took a little over an hour.
    3. Add Salt throughout the cooking process. Do not be afraid of salt. You will be surprised by how much salt is needed to bring out the flavor is fresh beans. If the beans taste bland you need more salt.
    4. Once beans are cooked through and the appropriate texture, drain remaining water off beans. Set aside to cool.
    5. In a large bowl (while beans are still slightly warm) combine Beans, Artichoke Hearts, Sesame Seeds, all seasonings, Red Wine Vinegar and Olive Oil. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve slightly warm or refrigerate and serve cold. Enjoy!

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    One Reply to “Heirloom Bean Salad (ME)”

    1. Surprisingly delicious! I must admit I have a fear of the traditional pale green lima beans. But I must say these wonderfully colorful Xmas beans are wonderful! I love Bean salads and this is a great one!!!

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