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For Immediate Release
August 15, 2011
William Troxell
[email protected]


 “Simply Delicious” Lima Bean Recipes

“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 fo 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 are two lima bean recipes entered in the 2011 “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest – one of which was a finalist recipe.


Three Sisters Succotash  (A Tribute to the Native Americans)
Serves 8 to 10

1 T.            Olive Oil
2 c.            Corn – fresh
1/2 c.         Sweet Onion – diced
1                Red Bell Pepper – medium sized, diced
1                Jalapeno – small, finely diced
1 c.            Green or Golden Summer Squash – diced
1  1/2 c.    Lima Beans – fresh or frozen
2 cloves   Garlic – minced
1 tsp.         Sea Salt
dash         Cumin
dash         Black Pepper
1/2  c.        Chicken Stock
2 T.            Cilantro – fresh

Place a large sauté pan on high heat until very hot.  Add 1 tsp of the olive oil, corn, peppers, onion.  Sauté until vegetables start to brown and caramelize slightly.  This process takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the remaining olive oil, squash, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic.  Cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat.  Add chicken broth, cilantro and the lima beans.  Simmer mixture until all vegetables are tender – approximately 5 minutes.

Kathy Rohrbaugh, Shrewsbury, Finalist
2011 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest


Savory Lima Bean Bisque
Serves 4 or 5

2                Eggs – hard-cooked, cooled and peeled
3 slices    Bacon
1                Onion – small, cut in quarters
1                Potato medium-sized (2″-2 1/2″ diameter), pared and cubed
1 clove     Garlic ��� large-sized, minced
1 1/4 c.     Chicken Broth – low sodium, low fat
1 c.            Evaporated Skim Milk
2 c.            Baby Lima Beans – frozen, thawed
1/8 tsp.     Leaf Thyme – dried
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Paprika – for garnish

Chop egg whites and set aside.  Sieve yolks and set aside. Fry bacon in saucepan until crisp.  Retain 1 teaspoon of drippings in the pan. Drain bacon on paper towels and then crumble. Add onion, potato, garlic and broth to drippings.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender. Puree mixture and return to the pan. Add milk, limas and thyme to pureed mixture. Bring just to a boil, cover and simmer until beans are tender. Stir in bacon, salt and pepper to taste, and chopped egg whites. Garnish each serving with sieved yolks and a sprinkling of paprika.

Frances Dietz, York
2011 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest

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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