Lovin’ the family farm February 15, 2011Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.
We need to add lima beans to the same category as parsnips – much-maligned vegetables that I never had growing up but should have.
I mean, who knew that lima beans were creamy and delicious? Certainly not me – I don’t think I’d ever tasted a lima bean before I picked some up at the public market.
One of my favorite vendors has a farm outside Rochester, and he’s always at the market, every Saturday, with something from his holdings – he’s the first to offer ramps in the spring, and he has pussy willows, dried beans, popcorn, whatever’s available in the winter.
Plus, his elderly mom comes and helps out in the summer.
I can’t help it – I’m just partial to the idea of the family farm, I guess.
So I’m at the market, and Alex is there, in the cold, with, among other things, several packages of frozen lima beans. We chatted for a few minutes, and I shared that I’d never had lima beans before (I know – shameful!) and he shared that his mom had shelled and frozen “a mess of them” last fall.
His 80-year-old MOM!
So I had to bring some home, didn’t I? And I had no idea what to do with them (or even how to cook them) (I know, sad, right?).
So I did what anyone would do – I asked the Internet.
And I found some ideas, and some suggestions, and I figured that this couldn’t be that hard, so I determined that we’d have lima beans for dinner one evening, and that we would wing it.
I can be kind of bossy like that.
So we decided that something as healthy as lima beans (because really, what could be healthier?) should be paired with fish.
So what we did was so simple, you couldn’t even call it a recipe.
We started with some squares of foil – heavy-duty, just to be on the safe side.
We piled about half a cup of frozen lima beans in the middle of each square, sprinkled a smidge of parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Stick a still-frozen tilapia filet on top of the beans, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (or paprika if you don’t like the heat, but really, there’s not much), some salt and pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. A little lemon zest, along with some juice, and we were set.
I’m going to say, on the olive oil, break out the good stuff – there’s no other fat in this, and if you’re using olive oil, use the extra virgin – it just tastes good. That’s all I’m saying.
Also, a splash of white wine. Maybe a couple of Tablespoons – just enough to create enough liquid to steam the fish.
And we wrap everything up, crimping the edges so none of the juices escape.
Into the oven it goes – 375 degrees for 20 minutes – that’s really all it takes for the frozen tilapia fillets to be cooked to perfection.
And we placed the tilapia and the lima beans on top of a bed of rice, drizzling the cooking juices over the rice.
And let me tell you – it was delicious. The fish was perfectly cooked, and the lima beans – OH MY! – they were soft and creamy and just, well, WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?