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bubbling butter beans

November 11, 2013

Are you wondering, like I was, “What are butter beans?”

I also just learned that the south calls them “butter beans.”
I have seen canned butter beans in the stores down here and wondered what they were! I love lima beans, but I think I like them even better when they’re called butter beans.

Lima beans, butter beans – whatever you call them, they are creamy and rich-tasting. Somehow, even though they are the bacon of the bean world, they are incredibly high in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and iron. They even lower blood sugar.

3 tablespoons olive oil or fat
6 slices thick-sliced bacon (or sausage)
½ cup finely chopped shallots or sliced onions
4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled, plus 1 tablespoon grated garlic (use a Microplane) or garlic mashed to paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
4 cups cooked butter beans or two 15-ounce jars or cans butter beans, drained, rinsed if canned (also known by their other name – lima beans!)
1 cup Pomi diced tomatoes (or other Tetra Pak tomatoes), drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
White wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it sizzles when a piece of bacon is added. Add the rest of the bacon, the shallots, crushed garlic, and sage and cook, stirring, until the shallots are just translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the beans, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the grated garlic and oregano and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are crackling.

Stir the tomatoes into the bean mixture, along with the prosciutto fat. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the beans are velvety and creamy. If the beans start to look dry, add a splash of water.

Stir the parsley into the beans, adjust the acidity with white wine vinegar as necessary, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Serve, or keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

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adapted from seven spoons. the photos of these beans with a sunny-side up egg over the top looks amazing.

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update:
AMAZING!

i tweaked it considerably.

MY VERSION:

VEG: roast garlic and other roastable veggies. whatever’s in season: squash, brussels sprouts, anything! chop them, and start them in a pan or pot with some olive oil.
NON-VEG: in a large pot or pan, add bacon, ham, salt pork, bits of fat you trimmed off last night’s pork chops or chicken, or ground sausage. any flavorful, fatty meat.
BOTH: add two small sliced onions. (add extra fat if they stick.)
add half a head of roasted garlic and any roasted veggies you have.
rinse two cans of butter beans and add.
fry for a few minutes.
add seasoned (herbed) tomato sauce and your favorite stock or even just a little water and cooking wine. pepper, salt to taste, fresh herbs if you want. it’s all good.

the sauce ends up buttery and creamy from the beans.

this is simple, quick to prepare, cheap, very filling, and HIGHLY recommended. great as a dip, or a sandwich spread, or piled on crackers or toast, side dish, or just eaten alone! butter beans don’t have a “beany” taste or texture – they are great for picky eaters. i tend to prefer heavily seasoned beans, but this is perfect just like it is.

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One comment

  1. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today.|



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