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For Immediate Release
“Simply Delicious” Lima Bean Recipe
August 17, 2009

“Simply Delicious” Pennsylvania lima beans are now in season. While relatively few lima beans are grown in the state, only a total of 23 acres, fresh Pennsylvania lima beans are a treat worth looking for at your local farmers’ market or roadside farm market. Frozen or canned lima beans are delicious and nutritious as well, but the fresh ones have a distinctive flavor.

According to the Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition (University of California at Berkeley), lima beans are named after Lima, Peru, where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. There are two common types of limas grown in the United States – the larger Fordhook or butter bean varieties and the baby lima varieties. Baby limas are a smaller and milder-tasting variety of lima beans, not simply young lima beans.

Limas are available fresh from late summer through early fall. If purchased in the pod, the pods should be tightly closed and budging. If the limas are already shelled, they should be plump and tight-skinned. For the best flavor, the shelled beans should be pale or grass green. Beans that are chalky white will have a starchy flavor similar to dried limas.

Following is a delicious lima bean salad recipe from the 2009 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest – rated by one of the judges as the best lima bean dish he had ever tasted:


Lima Bean Salad with Prosciutto & Arugula                                                           


1 T.            Dijon Mustard

1 1/2 T.     Lemon Juice – fresh

1/4 c.         Olive Oil

10 oz.        Baby Lima Beans – frozen [or fresh]

2 oz.          Prosciutto – sliced thin and cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1                Red Onion – small, chopped finely

2 1/2 tsp. Tarragon Leaves – fresh, minced or 1 tsp. dried

1 c.            Arugula Leaves – chopped

Salt and Pepper – to taste


In a serving bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined. In a saucepan of boiling water, boil the lima beans for 2 minutes. [If using fresh, boil longer, about 5 minutes.] Drain well. While still warm, toss the beans with the dressing, Prosciutto, onion, tarragon, arugula and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Finalist Recipe, 2009 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest

Submitted by Stephanie Meloy, Danville



Quick buying tips for Fresh Pennsylvania Lima Beans

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying fresh lima beans:

—    Select pods that are tightly closed with budging beans inside.

—    Shelled beans should be pale or grass green, not chalky white; plump and tight-skinned.

—    Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and use within two or three days.

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