The things I most appreciate about Amish-Mennonite cooking are its use of simple, straightforward and real ingredients, the seasonal nature of the food, the wholesome food traditions they have managed to maintain in spite of our commercialized culture, and the way their cooking is a model example of hospitality and community – as it relates to food. Baked Limas are a delicious example of this!
This dish has roots in Early American, Greek and German cooking, among others. Giant Limas were relatively easy to dry at the end of summer’s gardening season, and were often prepared and served throughout the winter months – hot, or cold, with bread.
I love the slightly sweet, tangy flavor of Baked Limas, and I’ve taken the liberty to add the Greek’s use of garlic to my version of the Amish Community Cookbook’s recipe.
Although this dish is very easy to prepare, it does take some time, and requires soaking the beans overnight, in advance of cooking the next day.
Soak the beans overnight by covering completely with water, after washing them thoroughly. The next morning, rinse them, place in Dutch oven or large pot, cover with fresh water and a bit of sea salt, and cook for 1 hour. (Till just tender, but not soft.) After cooking, drain the beans.
Chop onions, green peppers and garlic. Sauté in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato purée, and seasonings. Cook for 30 minutes.
Place bacon strips over the top of your beans. (Optional.)
Bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are desired softness. Serve your Baked Limas as a side dish – or all on their own, with a hearty slice of wholesome bread. Delicious!
- 1 pound dried Giant Lima beans
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green Bell pepper
- 1 can plum tomatoes, chopped (keep juice)
- 1 can tomato purée
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar or honey
- 2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
- 4 slices bacon (optional)
- Wash beans and cover with water (several inches over beans).soak overnight.
- Next morning, rinse beans, place in large pot, add 8 cups fresh water and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Cook for 1 hour, or until they're slightly tender, but not too soft.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and tomato purée, all seasonings, and brown sugar or honey.
- Cook for 30 minutes, on medium-low heat.
- Combine with beans.
- Place in baking dish.
- Place bacon slices on top. (Optional.)
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours - 1 hour covered, and 30 minutes uncovered.
- Serve hot, or at room temperature.
Recipe modification from base recipe source: Mennonite Community Cookbook, Herald Press