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Christmas Limas

By 9:27 AM , ,

Growing up, like most kids, I didn't like beans. Especially lima beans. I remember I used to push them around my plate, try to hide them under the skin of baked potatoes, put them in my napkin - you get the picture.

A lot has changed since then, and I adore beans and eat them often.  Friends of ours gave us these beautiful beans from Rancho Gordo, called Christmas Lima Beans, or more commonly referred to as Chestnut Limas.  Rancho Gordo is a farm/company based out of Napa, California and specializes in small "batch" heirloom beans - as well as dried corn, chiles, grains and various herbs.  I had seen articles about them in both Saveur and Food & Wine.

Steve Sando, the owner and founder of Rancho Gordo describes these beans as big and meaty and suggests serving them in soups, curry or as a side dish. Specifically, he says that they are great with mushrooms and tons of garlic or drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated dry goat cheese.

I decided that since we'd never had these beans before, I wanted to use this basic cooking method found here that Rancho Gordo swears by so we could get the true flavor of the beans. There's even this video if you need help!

It's simple, but I will say these beans took forever to cook! I've cooked dried beans before, but I've never had them take so long to cook through. I even soaked these all day (about 10 or so hours) and it still took a little over 5 1/2 hours to get them where they needed to be.
They are delicious too - Steve's describing them as big and meaty was right on.  They are big both in size and taste. I really would agree that they can probably stand up to just about any flavor.

A 16oz bag of these costs $4.95 and all shipping at Rancho Gordo is a flat $8 - no matter how large the order. They also have some really neat sampler sets to get a few for what they are all about.

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