Lima Beans in Olive Sauce

6 servings
  • 1 1/2 pounds dried baby lima beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 ancho chiles, roasted (see Note) and chopped
  • I tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 pound Calamata olives, stoned
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 large scallions, white part only, julienned and left to soak in ice water
  • 3 ribs celery, strings removed, julienned and left to soak in ice water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Drain the beans in a colander and combine them in a large saucepan with the water. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat so that the water is simmering. Cook the beans, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside. In a bowl, combine the roasted chiles and the ginger with 3/4 cup of hot water and let soak for 15 minutes. Transfer the chiles and ginger with their water to a blender and blend until smooth. Set the mixture aside. Again in the blender, combine the pitted olives with about 1/2 cup of water, or just enough to make them move through the blades, and blend until completely smooth. Set this mixture aside. In a large heavy casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, then immediately add the chile-ginger mixture. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the pureed olive mixture, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring gently every few minutes.

  • Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. When the beans are cool, drain the spring onion and celery julienne and, in a small bowl, toss them with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve the beans garnished with the crisp julienne.

  • Note: To roast ancho chiles, first wipe them clean and remove the stems and seeds. Place the chiles over a gas burner and toast them all over until the skin is slightly bubbly and the flesh is softened. Don't let them char.

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