Dandelion Green & Christmas Lima Bean Tacos

by Gavan on January 11, 2009

Christmas Lima Beans

For obvious reasons I check out the LA times food section every Wednesday to see what’s going on in the food biz. I look forward to reading the restaurant reviews and the collection of recipes featured. Some of them are various spin offs of regular everyday recipes but they also throw out some interesting out-of-the-box ones such as this one. What the hell are Christmas Lima beans anyway? This is a new one on me but Whole Foods had ’em. According to the packaging from Gourmet Valley, these beans are native to Peru and are considered a true Lima bean. They have a wonderful chestnut, buttery flavor and a creamy texture. They can be used in any recipe that calls for Lima beans. Well that sounds pretty good to me. I’m making a conscious decision this year to bring you guys some new ingredients and these definitely fit the bill.

Myself and the missus tried this at home the other day. I didn’t go all cheffy chef with it and try to adapt it, instead I followed the directions to a tee:

3 1/2 tbsp.olive oil
1 lg. onion (1 cup) – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 cups dried Christmas Lima Beans
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

4 tomatillos (1 3/4 cups) – finely chopped
1/2 red onion (1 cup) – finely chopped
2 jalapenos – minced
1 large bunch cilantro (coriander) (1 cup) – finely chopped
2 limes – juiced
2 bunches dandelion greens (8 cups) – cleaned, chopped
18 corn tortillas

In large 3qt. soup pot, heat 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil and cook onion and garlic over med-low heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Once vegetables are soft, add dried beans and water to cover, about 3 cups.
Bring to a simmer over high heat then reduce heat to low. Cover and stir occasionally. After 45 minutes add black pepper, 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and additional water if necessary to keep beans covered.

Cover and continue to cook until beans are soft, again stirring occasionally another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When beans are tender remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. This makes about 6 cups cooked beans.
While beans are cooking, make salsa verde.

In medium bowl combine the chopped tomatillos, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro, 1 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt and juice of 2 limes. Stir to combine and reserve. Makes 2 cups salsa.

Place remaining tbsp. olive oil in large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add chopped dandelion greens to pan with pinch of salt and saute until greens are wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat tortillas over an open flame or a griddle or saute pan on high heat, turning them over so that both sides are hot and lightly toasted. Assemble the tacos by arranging the grilled tortillas on individual plates or a platter. Place about 1/3 cup of beans onto each tortilla, top with 1/4 cup wilted greens and salsa verde to taste. Squeeze a wedge of lime over each taco and serve immediately.

Dandelion & Christmas Lima Bean Taco

What did I think? In my opinion I wasn’t overly impressed by this one. Right off the bat I found it boring to look at, except for the beans themselves which were beauties. Eating has a lot to do with seeing and the visual on this wasn’t up to par. I thought it needed more color. Maybe some roasted red pepper in the salsa or some braised red cabbage on the taco. Something. I was excited about the dandelion greens but for me they were too bitter for this and needed some life. Again just my opinion, but maybe some lemon or even a slight kick with some chili flakes. I’ll try it out again but next time I will be cheffy chef & adapt it to my palate, so stay tuned. If anyone has tried this recipe or has adapted it to their tastes I’d love to hear from you!

On a lighter note, when we have tacos in our house we tend to make black beans on the side and in a moment of unthinking, we had them with these too. Basically we had beans with bean tacos…hmmm!

DISCLAIMER: Beans with bean tacos may, and probably will, cause some (major) bang in your pants! Maybe rice is a better choice next time!

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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