I recently spent a couple of weeks back in Ohio visiting with my family and celebrating my Mom's 60th birthday. We had lots of family in from out of town, which meant lots of cooking! Luckily, my mom, my aunt, and I all love to cook, so we came up with some really delicious recipes and had lots of fun! We made tried-and-true recipes for the most part since it was a large group (including these awesome pork-and-beans tacos), but we also ventured out into new territory with this bean salad. Giant Christmas lima beans are paired with fresh sweet corn and cherry tomatoes in this modern take on succotash. Creamy goat cheese melts into the warm beans to create a delicious dressing, and the salad is great warm or cold. We made a double recipe, which made a ton of salad - but, this is easy to put together, so it's a great option for a large group. The only time consuming element is cooking the dried beans - you need to plan ahead here, because they soak overnight and then cook for a long time (the package said an hour, but ours took more like 90 minutes). We did the beans the day before so that cooking time was minimal on the day we were eating it. This salad was enjoyed by everyone, and we even managed to eat it all (although it took us a couple of meals!)
Christmas Lima Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese (adapted from Heirloom Beans)
1/2 pound dried Christmas lima beans
2 T butter
3 green onions, white and pale green parts thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn)
Salt and pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 T chopped fresh mint
2-3 ounces fresh, creamy goat cheese
1. Soak the lima beans overnight (at least 8 hours), and then cook in simmering water until tender (60-90 minutes). Drain.
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the corn and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep stirring over medium heat until the beans are heated through.
3. Toss together the cherry tomatoes, mint, and goat cheese in a large serving bowl. Dump the hot bean mixture into the tomatoes and stir to combine - the goat cheese will melt into a lovely sauce. Taste, and add more salt or pepper as you like.
4. Serve warm or chilled - leftovers keep well.