Summer Lima Beans with Cherry Tomatoes & Sun-Dried Black Olives

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Discovering fresh lima beans at the market is like hitting summer’s jackpot! Practice now with frozen (check the asterisks below for instructions for using frozen beans), but be sure to revisit this recipe in a few short months. I promise… summer will take it to the next level!

2 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into half moons (approx 1 1/4 cup) *
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups shelled fresh lima beans (approx 2 lbs. unshelled beans) **
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted sun-dried black olives
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Advance Instructions for Enhanced Digestion:
At least 12 hours before mealtime…

In a small saucepan, combine fresh or frozen lima beans, whey or lemon juice and water to generously cover.  Cover pot and set aside in a warm spot for 12 – 24 hours.  Drain and rinse well before beginning the remaining instructions.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and gently saute for 5 minutes; onions will be slightly softened and barely beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute; garlic will be fragrant. Add lima beans, stock and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to gently boil for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir in remaining 1 tbsp of butter, tomatoes, olives, vinegar, sea salt & pepper. Recover and continue to gently boil for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve warm.

* To cut an onion into half moons: First slice the onion in half from root to stem. Lay the cut flesh of each side of onion flat on the cutting board, cut about 1/2″ off both the root and stem of each half. Peel both sides, and return the onion to its previous position on the cutting board. Each side now looks like half of a moon! Now, cut the onion horizontally in 1/2″ pieces (opposite of cutting from the root to the stem), creating individual half moon shaped onions.

** If fresh Lima beans are not available, frozen Lima beans are a perfectly acceptable substitution. Same directions apply. Large Lima beans and small Lima beans will both work beautifully in this recipe. Large Lima beans are also known as butter beans. Small Lima beans are also known as baby Lima beans.

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