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Delicious, satisfying and so good for you, I grew up with this dish and am now bringing my kids up with it too! I love it because although it takes time to soak the beans, it really is simple to cook. Another bonus is that it is such a versatile dish – easy to serve as a winter warmer, straight from the oven with crusty herb bread, and just as easily served in the warmer months by letting it cool right down and enjoying with some pita bread and taramosalata!

A classic Greek dish, packed with flavour, and vegetarian to boot, this is on rotation year round in my kitchen!

Serves:
 6

Ingredients 
  • 500g lima beans, dried
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle extra to serve
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, cubed, or alternatively 400g tinned Italian tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped, plus a little extra to serve
  • 2 cups water
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Crispy pita bread or crusty ciabatta loaf, to serve

Instructions 

  1. Place the lima beans in a large bowl, add enough water to cover the beans by about 5cm and allow to soak for at least 8-10 hours or overnight. Drain the beans, place them in a saucepan with about 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and allow the beans to simmer for about 45 minutes or until they are tender but not yet cooked through.

  2. While the beans are cooking, it is time to preheat the oven to 160C and to make the tomato salsa. Place the oil in a large frypan, add the onion and saute over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion is fragrant and soft.

  3. Add the garlic cloves and saute for a further minute. Add the tomato paste and cook the mixture for a further minute, making sure you are stirring constantly to ensure the tomato paste does not burn. Add the tomatoes, sugar, oregano, cinnamon, cloves and parsley leaves, stir it about until it has all come together and then add the water. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper, adding a little extra salt than you normally would. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow the salsa to simmer for 20 minutes.

  4. Once the beans are ready, drain the beans and place in a baking tray. Pour the salsa over the top and lightly mix the salsa through the beans. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about an hour, without stirring and uncovered, checking the mixture every 20 minutes or so to make sure there is enough water in the tray so that they don’t burn. Take the tray out once the beans have cooked, allow to cool and then sprinkle over the extra parsley leaves, drizzle the extra olive oil on top and serve with crispy pita bread or crusty bread to mop up the salsa.



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