The holidays can be brutal on a body. Tonight I found myself in search of chocolate in my house, and I felt like I needed it. Couldn’t-live-without-it needed it. I usually hide chocolate around the house in secret spots, but when I went to my usual haunt, someone had eaten all the peppermint patties. You know that feeling when you are eating anything sweet you can get your hands on, even a saltine smeared with expired grape jelly? I was there. Since I’ve been on a nonstop chocolate train all month, I decided enough was enough.
So I’m trying to eat healthier, fight the urge to eat candy and chicken tenders 24/7 and really feed my body what it needs: vegetables. This recipe was inspired by a dish I had in New Orleans, but it had a confit chicken leg on top. I decided that my version was going to be so good it could be a vegan entree or a side. We’re going to boil the lima beans and then crisp them up in hot oil. Then add tender green beans, delicious herb oil, and cripsy breadcrumbs to the top and you have a healthy and tasty dinner or side item. You could easily serve this with grilled fish or chicken.
I grew up on lima beans, and I still like them. But the green beans help add another textural element to complement the butterbeans. We are first going to make our herb oil. You’ll need a food processor. Throw in the thyme leaves, chopped rosemary and sage along with 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar. My secret was using the poultry seasoning herbs that all come together at the grocery, so you spend less on herbs! Macerate them by pulsing in the food processor and slowly drizzle in the remaining oil while the food processor runs.
We’re going to boil our green beans in medium pot of water. They’re ready when you take a bite and they squeak slightly. Use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate and then add the lima beans to the same water. We’ll boil our pretty lima beans! I boiled mine for about 10 minutes and checked to see if they were fork tender but still a bit al dente. Once done, we want to sear them in the oil, so drain them and dry them off a bit with a towel.
We’ll use a big saucepan to brown the breadcrumbs. Use a teaspoon of olive oil in a searing hot pan and add the bread crumbs, stirring frequently. Brown the bread crumbs and remove from the pan to a bowl. Leave the pan–we’ll reuse it.
To a the same saucepan you used for the breadcrumbs, add 3 tablespoons of the herb oil. Sear the lima beans in the oil until they just start to brown. Then add in the green beans and toss to coat. Add the vegetable broth and simmer down until the liquid is slightly reduced–a minute or two. To serve, drizzle with the remaining herb oil and top with breadcrumbs!
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- about 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed, chopped
- ½ cup arugula leaves
- ⅓ cup olive oil, plus ¼ cup
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- salt to taste
- 1 lb fresh green beans
- 12 oz bag of frozen fordhook lima beans
- ⅓ cup vegetable broth
- In a food processor, add the thyme, sage, rosemary, arugula, ⅓ cup olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and salt. Pulse several times. Then run on high, pouring in the remaining ¼ cup oil through the vent hole of the food processor while it runs. Taste and see if it needs anything (salt? Lemon?) It should taste lemony and slightly salty and have the texture of thin pesto. Set aside.
- Snap off the stringy ends from the green beans. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add the green beans. Boil for about 4 minutes, or until the beans are slightly tender and squeak when you bite into them. Remove the beans to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
- To the same water, add the frozen lima beans. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the beans are slightly tender. Drain into a colander.
- In a large nonstick pan, add the teaspoon of olive oil over high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toast until browned, stirring constantly. Once browned, remove to a plate or bowl.
- To the same pan over medium high heat, add 3 tbsp of the herb oil. Add the lima beans to the oil and spread them in a thin layer. Let the beans brown slightly. Add the green beans and add a couple pinches of salt. Stir together and add the broth. Let it simmer down for a minute or two.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the top with herb oil and breadcrumbs.