Farmers market report: Lima beans are in season. We have recipes

Shelled lima beans, with pods in the background, at the Hollywood farmers market.
(David Karp / For the Times)

What’s in season: With a buttery, almost meaty texture and a plump, kidney-like shape, lima beans are named after Lima, Peru, and are one of the oldest beans to come out of the New World. The beans, with varieties ranging from the large, pale green Fordhook to the vivid burgundy-and-white Christmas, are generally in season in October and November, and are available until the first frosts come. Though most beans are sold still in their pods, some stands sell the beans already shucked.

What to cook: Lima beans are one of the classic components in succotash, a Southern favorite that can combine limas and corn with sweet bell peppers and okra. Add the beans to minestrone or other soups, or blanch them quickly before adding to salads. Lima beans also make a great side, quickly sautéed and tossed with fresh herbs, or slowly baked with bacon and tomatoes.

What’s on the horizon: Beets, turnips and other root vegetables, generally in season through late fall and the winter months, are just beginning to show up.


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Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 2


2 cups fresh or frozen baby lima beans

2 cups half-and-half

4 cups corn kernels, from about 6 to 8 ears

Pepper to taste

8 strips bacon, fried brown and crisp, coarsely chopped

1. Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the lima beans and cook just until done, about 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Bring the half-and-half to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the corn and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

3. Drain the lima beans and add to the corn. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Place in a serving bowl and top with the bacon.


Each serving: 155 calories; 6 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 19 mg. cholesterol; 136 mg. sodium.

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