The Giant Peruvian Lima is also referred to as a butter, curry, Madagascar, lab, Pole Bean, or Cape Pea. It has a creamy texture and a savory flavor. Try tossing with olive oil and fresh herbs. It also purees well.
Giant Peruvian Lima Beans are large, flat, yellowish-white beans, about 1-inch long. They have a savory flavor and creamy, meaty texture when cooked.
- Named for the city where 16th century Spanish explorers first found them
- Also known as “Madagascar,” “curry,” or “lab” beans
- Rich, savory flavor
- Cook to a creamy texture
These beans are so entrenched in Peruvian culture, they often appear on the pottery created by the Moche people, who lived in Northern Peru in the 15th century. Spanish explorers brought the bean back to Europe in the 16th century, where it thrived in the temperate climate. The slave trade later carried the bean to Africa, where it is now one of the most widely consumed beans on the continent.
- While great in the traditional succotash, these creamy Giant Peruvian Lima Beans are especially delicious sautéed in olive oil with garlic and herbs
- Can be peeled and made into a smooth, creamy puree
- Great for stewing, as they hold their shape well when cooked
Basic Recipe/Preparation: 1 qt. water, 2 cups beans. Bring water to full boil. Add beans slowly so boiling does not stop. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook until nearly tender, about 2 hours, before adding salt or other ingredients.
Nutrition Facts: Serv. Size: 1/4 cups (45g), Servings: 8, Amount Per Serving: Calories 150, Fat Cal. 0, Total Fat 0g (0%DV), Sat. Fat 0g (0%DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholest. 0mg (0%DV), Sodium 10mg (0%DV), Total carb. 28g (9%DV), Fiber 28g (112%DV), Sugars 0g, Protein 9g, Vitamin A (0%DV), Vitamin C (0%DV), Calcium (8%DV), Iron (45%DV). Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Recipe for “Gigantes Plaki*”
Gigantes plaki, a traditional Greek dish that translates to “giant baked beans,” is a classic vegetarian dish that features Gigante Beans in a tomato sauce. Hearty enough to be eaten for a meal by itself, it also works well alongside other dishes as a complete ensemble.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 120 min
Total time: 130 min
2 Cups Gigante Beans (Peruvian Giant Lima Beans)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Large Carrot, peeled and chopped
2 Stalks Celery, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper, optional
1 (28 Oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 Teaspoon Smoked Sweet Paprika
1 Teaspoon Mediterranean Oregano
1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Dill, chopped
Crumbled Feta Cheese
- Carefully sort beans and rinse thoroughly. Soak beans in pot covered by at least 3 inches water for 8 to 12 hours.
- Drain beans well and add fresh water to cover beans by 3 inches. Add bay leaves. Bring to simmer and cook beans, uncovered, until almost tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Season with salt in final stages of cooking.
- Remove bay leaves and drain, reserving about 1 cup cooking liquid.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat oil in skillet and add onion, carrot and celery. Cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and their canning liquid, paprika and oregano, and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in parsley, dill and cooked gigante beans, along with 1 cup reserved bean cooking liquid.
- Pour into 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish and bake for about 1 hour, checking occasionally and adding more hot water, if necessary, until beans are tender and top is browned and slightly crisp.
- Serve immediately, garnished with crumbled feta cheese.
*Recipe & inspiration from Woodland Foods website