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Christmas Lima Bean Salad

A favorite in kitchens around the world, Christmas lima beans boast a rich, mellow chestnut flavor and a firm texture.

Be sure to soak the beans before cooking. To soak overnight, place the beans in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. The next day, drain the beans and cook as directed below. For a quick soak, place the beans in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, remove from the heat, cover the pot and let stand for 1 hour, then drain the beans and cook. To decrease the cooking time by about half, cook the soaked beans in a pressure cooker on high pressure.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup dried Christmas lima beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked and drained
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1 carrot, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 celery stalk, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil, marjoram and oregano
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Directions:

Place the beans in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Add the yellow onion, carrot and celery pieces, thyme sprig and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, then drain the beans. Remove and discard the yellow onion, carrot, celery, thyme sprig and bay leaf. Transfer the beans to a bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and chopped herbs. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Add the vinaigrette, diced red onion, carrot and celery to the beans and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to evenly distribute the vinaigrette. Just before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper and stir in lemon juice. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.