My sweet friend Christi Hilt bought me this cookbook called Plenty which is full of really great vegetable recipes from a restaurant in London called Ottolenghi. The idea was that we’d pick a night, I would give her the handful of recipes we wanted to test out, she would shop and meet at her house for some cooking fun! Such a lovely night with delicious food and even more delicious company. And of course the wine was pouring. This was definitely one of my favorites that came from that night. I made some minor adjustments because some ingredients are not easy to come by but it worked out great. I’ve posted the recipe with my adjustments.
1 lb dried lima beans
2 tbsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
8 green onions, sliced lengthwise into long strips
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red chiles
3 cups spinach, julienned
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 tsp sumac
Soak lima beans in cold water with baking soda overnight. If you forget to do this overnight, bring them to a boil, cover, turn off the heat and let them sit for an hour. That should do the trick.
Drain the beans and cover the beans with fresh water and boil for at least 30 minutes, or until soft to the bite but not mushy. This could take longer depending on the size and freshness of the beans.
Next, you will want to fry these beans in batches. In a large pan, take some of your butter and oil and heat, add enough beans to the pan to cover the bottom and fry on medium high heat and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown and blistered. Remove to a large bowl and continue with batches of butter, oil and beans until done.
When cooking the last batch, when the beans are almost done, add the green onions, garlic, chiles and spinach. Add the rest of the beans to the pan, remove from heat and season with salt. Allow the beans to cool down to just warm. Taste the beans for seasoning, drizzle with lemon juice , scatter the feta, sprinkle with sumac and some freshly sliced spinach. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.