I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, yeah right.
But it’s true! I’ve never been a lima bean fan. I was always one to pick them out of the frozen mixed veggie blend. These beans are different. And magical. And so, on with the story from whence these lima beans came.
Several years ago I went to a conference for work. It was one of those week-long deals where you stayed in a retreat-like setting while you were there. The food was ah-maz-ing. I’m talking five star delicious. Even before I went to the conference several co-workers who had attended in previous years talked up the food probably more than they talked about the actual conference (which was awesome too). And let me tell you they weren’t lying. Breakfast was a feast – eggs, waffles, french toast, oatmeal, fruit, biscuits with honey (so fancy they even had the little honey drizzle thing which I was pretty excited to use – I mean who gets to use that honey drizzle thing like ever? Me at the conference, that’s who!). Lunch was an even bigger feast (with dessert!), and suffice to say dinner followed suit.
This went on for a week. Oh it was so good – there was even a dessert medley each night…but I’m getting off track, but not too far. Because that’s where the chocolate cake comes in. The last night of dinner there were many delicious choices. They served the food buffet style and like a true dietitian I scanned everything first to see what I wanted to select. One tray had a tag labeling the contents as lima beans. Now, as I mentioned before, I’m not usually a fan, but I was curious and lifted the cover only to be hit with the most mouth-watering aroma. I took a small spoonful to try and proceeded on to fill the rest of my plate.
Once at my table and settling in to my plate it quickly became apparent that the lima beans were my favorite. Everything else was good too, but these were amazing. I decided to go back for a second taste, and also picked up dessert on the way. Enter chocolate cake.
Yes, I’m sure it looked weird to have a plate with a scoop of lima beans and a slice of chocolate cake, but whatever. Don’t judge.
After finishing the beans and starting the cake…well, I was just underwhelmed. I wanted more lima beans.
By this point the whole table was raving about the lima beans. The waitstaff asked how everything was and more raving ensued. They had the chef come over to talk to us and we promptly quizzed him on the dish. He filled us in on the few basic ingredients (you can count them on one hand) and I became determined to recreate these at home. Before leaving I even took a to-go box of lima beans with me. You know, for recreating purposes…mostly, but also because they’re just that good.
And so, I bring to you Better Than Chocolate Cake Lima Beans, perfected from the small samples of the original I kept in my freezer until I had everything just right.
These do take awhile to cook, but with a little planning you’ll have a huge pot of these which taste even better a day or so after they’ve cooked.
The trickiest part may be finding giant lima beans – look for the biggest ones you can find. They may be labeled extra large, or large…they’re larger and flatter than smaller lima beans. Soak them overnight then rinse and drain. Drop them into a clean pot and cover them with just enough water that they’re submerged but not more than a half-inch over the top of the beans. Bring to a simmer and cook for an hour. After an hour is up, add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another hour or until the beans are melt in your mouth soft.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! Do you have any favorite dishes you’ve recreated at home?
- 1 lb large lima beans
- 2 cans stewed tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
- 1 sprig thyme, chopped
- 2-3 leaves basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- Place lima beans in large bowl or pot, cover with cold water and soak overnight or at least 8 hours.
- After soaking, drain and rinse lima beans. Place beans in a large dutch oven or pot.
- Cover with water, about ½ inch above the top of the beans. Bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for one hour.
- After one hour, add tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and butter. Continue simmering for 1 hour or until beans are tender.