Simple Fresh Lima Beans, and Braised Radishes

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.

Braised Radishes

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:



  1. Zoa Said,

    June 27, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

    I love love love lima beans, even the frozen kind in “garden mix” bags that probably made you hate them when you were a child (IMO that was peripheral flavours off the carrots and green beans which should never ever be frozen but that’s just my opinion). This is a nice way to cook them! And your kittens are so adorable. My cats are relatively aged (14 and 17 respectively) and though every morning isn’t exactly Christmas-for-a six-year-old for them, they still think I should be getting up at the same time every day (6:00 a.m.), even weekends–after all, they do! How can cats flipping tell time? I haven’t woken up to my alarm for years.

  2. Lily Said,

    June 27, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    The kitties are too cute! I’ve only ever adopted adult cats, so I can’t even remember what it’s like to have a kitten around. I agree with Zoa though; cats must have amazing internal clocks. My little kitty used to wake me up at 5 every morning, howling and meowing to play with his favorite toy mouse. I’m now skilled at keeping very still and pretending not to notice that a cat is sitting on my face so that said cat will finally leave the room and let me sleep in peace.

  3. susan Said,

    June 28, 2010 @ 8:08 am

    love limas…baked with tomatoe sauce and onions is one fantastic way…
    and please don’t stop with the kitty pictures…so many silly kitten antics are the same and it brings back memories…i have a four year old who wakes me up around 6 every morning by sticking her paws in my mouth and her tongue (very big tongue) up my nose…that didnt work on saturday so she started pulling the back of my tshirt…

  4. Maria Said,

    June 28, 2010 @ 9:48 am

    Gomez and Torticia are looking wonderful! (The radishes and lima beans too, but the kitties are stealing the show here…).
    Thanks for the picked radish recipe – I’ve got some in a jar in the fridge at the moment, ‘ripening’ for me.

  5. Amanda Said,

    June 28, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

    This looks great! I’ve been wanting to try radishes for a while but never knew what to do with them. The artichoke/brussel sprout taste sounds delicious!

    Also, please continue to post kitten pictures! They are very cute and look pretty mischievious. I adopted my three guys as adults but found my fourth cat, Freddy, as a 9 month old kitten by the entrance to my subway stop. Two years later he’s still my little “kitten” (momma was a street cat so he’s on the small side) and an incredible mush. He looks exactly like your Gomez! All-black cats are the best 🙂

  6. Ksenia Said,

    June 29, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    I’m even not sure if I have ever tried lima beans O.o
    What I certainly have never tried are cooked radishes. I just didn’t think about it. For me, it sounded like boiling a cucumber (I looked in Internet, and there ARE boiled cucumber recipes. But it sounds strange for me anyway). I love brussel sprouts and I love artichokes hearts, so I suppose I’ll like braised radishes too 😀 I’ll have to try it the next time 🙂

    I’m definitively in love with you kittens.

  7. Josiane Said,

    June 30, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

    More radish ideas! This one sounds great too! I’ve never seen fresh lima beans, but I’ll keep an eye out; i’d be curious to see how different from dried lima beans they are.

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