[recipe] Serves 4-6 | 3+ hrs wo-to-go dried beans or 10mins wo-to-go canned beans
A simple & beautiful salad of lima beans (often called butter beans because of their creamy texture and colour), ripe tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
I am not sure why I don’t use ‘pulses’ more in my cooking, but I suspect it revolves around forming habits! I am making a concerted effort to include pulses like lima beans and chickpeas in my weekly repertoire because they are packed with beauty-boosting goodness.
BEAUTY BOOST: Lima beans contain the lesser know trace mineral molybdenum, essential for synthesizing DNA – your cells genetic makeup, play a key role in enzymatic de-toxifying of cells and is a good source of B vitamins thiamin and folate which help cells make energy. Their iron content (25% RDI in one cup) helps transfer oxygen into your cells & their high fibre content helps absorbs and facilitate quick removal of waste, both contributing to a brighter complexion. They contain trace mineral & antioxidant manganese which helps fight free radicals that can damage the skin, trigger inflammation and affect your complexion – and not in a good way!
Needless to say ripe red tomatoes (the most popular fruit on earth) contain skin-loving antioxidants vitamins C, E & the powerful plant chemical lycopene (the bright red pigment) which is one of the best scavengers of skin damaging free-radicals. Because it is fat-soluble it gets into skin cells and is twice as affective as as water soluble vitamin A (beta-carotene). It also improves the function of cell metabolism and cell-to-cell junctions so should improve skin texture and firmness.
I packet dried lima beans (or canned beans to reduce prep time)
6-8 ripe tomatoes (roma are idea)
bunch fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
[optional] goats cheese or fetta | marinated or plain
1. Soak lima beans for a few hours, drain, cook in plenty simmering salted water til ‘al dente’ – 30 til 45 mins. Drain & rinse. ‘Slip the skins’ if you don’t like the look or chewiness – discard. Set beans aside to continue draining. For canned beans – rinse and drain well.
2. Chop tomatoes roughly – eg quarter lengthwise then slice across 3 or 4 times. Retain juice.
3. Into a bowl, add lima beans, toss on tomatoes and sprinkle ‘torn’ pieces of basil leaves. Use your discretion & taste on how much basil to add. (I’d add about half a bunch)
4. [Optional] crumble cheese over top
5. Dress salad just prior to service as the vinegar will blacken the leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with balsamic, add salt & pepper to taste. (toss on more basil leaves if they did darken!!)
– easy dressing: you don’t have to make up a jar of salad dressing, just drizzle oil & vinegar + S&P over the salad, toss and taste til you get it right. You’ll get the hang of proportions and quantities. Because they really do taste better, try and use Maldon salt flakes (now in supermarkets) + pepper from your grinder.
– ripening tomatoes: get into the habit of buying at least a kg of tomatoes a week and pop them into a wide open fruit bowl to ripen over the week (between shops!). That way you ‘rotate’ your tomatoes and always have them at their best to eat.
– substitute: dried pulses for canned ones if you are short on time (aka weekday dinner) Canned food has a long shelf life and arn’t susceptible to summer pantry-infestations – now you don’t have any excuses!
– best friend: Edgell make 125g mini tins of chickpeas – ideal for a single serve salad.
– yes, mine did eat it but with a touch of persuasion & picking!