Well, an unexpected but welcome benefit of having kittens is I can go to the Saturday farmer’s market. If that seems like an incongruous statement, let me explain. In the past, I’ve had a tendency to sleep through the farmer’s market on Saturdays. Which has been a bit frustrating this summer because it’s also been hard for me to get to the Wednesday market I went to last year because I’ve been going into work earlier in order to swim every day after work. The kittens, however, don’t share my love of sleeping in on weekends and feel 5 a.m. is an appropriate time to arise. I guess when you’re a kitten every day is exciting as Christmas morning is to a 6-year old. So although I obviously didn’t get up at 5 a.m., I was up early enough yesterday to go to the farmer’s market. And immediately kicked myself for not going prior weeks, because it was awesome.
One thing I bought was a pint of fresh lima beans. Which may also seem incongruous considering I hate lima beans. Or rather, I used to. I hated them as a child, although I was far from a picky eater and ate pretty much everything else. Then last year I made myself Garlicky Chipotle Lima Beans and loved them. So that proved I liked dried limas. But what about fresh? It seemed time to find out.
There is a lot of conflicting information about lima beans on the internet. According to some people, they aren’t lima beans at all but butter beans. And some people say to cook them for 10 to 15 minutes, whereas other insist on a couple of hours – yes, even for fresh. It seems fresh limas aren’t very common to begin with as nearly every recipe calls for dried or frozen. So I decided to cook them simply, as I prefer my side dishes anyway, and let their lima flavor shine through to either wow or disgust me. Fortunately for me, they did the former.
Simple Fresh Lima Beans
1 1/2 cups fresh shelled lima beans
water to cover
1 Tbsp vegan powdered bouillon
salt and pepper to taste (I used smoked Maldon)
drizzle of olive oil
Put the shelled lima beans in a small, heavy-bottomed pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and add the bouillon, salt, and pepper.
Boil for 15 to 30 minutes. I tasted them at 15 minutes and they were about done, but the rest of the meal wasn’t, so I let them simmer for another 15 minutes, after which they tasted pretty much the same and didn’t feel much more cooked (somewhat surprisingly).
Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
I also bought a pint of radishes at the market, being on a bit of a radish kick. I wanted to pickle some of them, but also wanted to try something new with some as well. I got the idea to braise them from this Rachel Ray recipe. I read that cooked radishes taste like mild Brussels sprouts (yum!), but I thought they tasted like artichoke hearts. What they did NOT taste like was radishes. Unfortunately, my insistence they tasted nothing like radishes did not convince Mark to eat any. I forced him to eat a tiny bite and he made one of those awful faces he makes when he feels tortured by food. Oh well, more for me. I heated up some frozen corn for his second vegetable.
1 cup radishes, trimmed and halved
1 cup vegan stock (vegetable or “chicken”)
2 tsp white wine or champagne vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (I used smoked Maldon)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Trim the radishes and cut in half.
Put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until fork-tender.
Here are both dishes, served with some fried seitan with a mustard sauce: