Marg’s fancy butter bean salad

My friend Margaret loves to cook and she’s got a great sense of style that shows up in her dishes. This is her recipe for a spectacular, sophisticated cold salad that’s delicious, super easy to make and beautiful to look at.
You’ll need:
  • 1 16 ounce bag of  dried butter beans (aka large limas) 
  • About a cup of dried cranberries
  • About a cup of fresh italian parsley, chopped roughly
  • 1 medium sized red onion, diced 
  • A few tablespoons of  apple cider vinegar
  • A few tablespoons of high-quality olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
  • *Optional Ingredient- can of black beans garbanzos, or any other bean you like.
  1. Dump the bag of dried butter beans into boiling, lightly salted water (put a bay leaf in the water if you have one handy).  Let them boil for a few minutes and then turn down the heat to medium/low.  Cook the beans for about 30-45 minutes – you should taste the beans as they cook until the consistency is right (firm, but not hard and not mushy).  This is very, very important. If you overcook the beans, they will taste like mushy lima beans and will not be right for a salad. 
  2. While the beans are cooking, add the following to the bowl you will use for the salad – the dried cranberries, the chopped red onion and the fresh Italian parsley. Relax until the beans are cooked to the right consistency.
  3. When the beans are done, drain them and shock ‘em with cold water to get them to stop cooking. Pinch the shells off each bean (this is the most labor intensive part) and place the shelled beans in the bowl with the parsley, onion, and cranberry.  ** (If you want to add another bean to the salad, add this bean now.  I used one can of rinsed black beans for this – it makes the salad healthier, larger, and the canned beans here are easier.  Do not used canned limas, though.  They must be dried.)
  4. Pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon or two of vinegar.  Mix all of this together.  Add salt, pepper, additional olive oil, and vinegar to taste – some people like a lot of vinegar, oil, etc. some don’t, do what works for you. 
That’s it!  There is the salad.  What I really like about this salad is that it keeps very well and can be used to take to work for lunch for at least 3 days after you make it. 
This is sooo good, perfect for a barbeque or picnic. Don’t worry if it warms up a little nothing’s gonna spoil. This recipe makes loads, if you’re cooking for one, halve the recipe and you’ll still have plenty of leftovers. This works great either as a main course or side, it was perfect with grilled wild salmon last night.

One comment to “Marg’s fancy butter bean salad”

  1. on 28 Jul 2009 at 7:32 amThe Food Healer

    I brought leftovers to work and everyone freaked out about it, even the cheeseburger and soda people loved it! Next week I’m making it for the staff. This is one tasty salad, even better the next day! Thanks Margaret for sharing, with recipes like this it’s easy to eat healthy.

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