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In trying to eat healthier this year, one of my goals is to eat more beans of all types. They’re nutritious and tasty, and anything but boring when paired with a flavorful tomato sauce and lots of garlic and herbs. This lima bean recipe fits the bill perfectly.
I normally use canned beans because they are easy, but I’m also not usually making beans the center of the meal. So in this case I started with dried heirloom lima beans that I cooked in my instant pot. No soaking required — just add beans, fill pot halfway with broth or water and cook for 30 minutes. I used veggie broth and added a couple smashed cloves of garlic, because, well, why not?
The rest came together fairly quickly, starting with and easy tomato sauce made with a killer Italian seasoning blend, and ending with a pesto made with what I had on hand — no basil, but oregano, parsley, and cilantro. Some toasted almonds give it texture and crunch, and lemon zest brightens it up. If you only have basil or prefer it, I am certain that would work just as well here.
Mediterranean Lima Beans with Herbed Almond Pesto
Tender white beans coated in a rich tomato sauce and topped with salty feta make a delicious weeknight meal.
1cupolive oilmore or less depending on how thin you want it
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepperto taste
First you’ll need to cook the beans. You can do this on the stove top (you’ll need to soak overnight first) by simmering in enough water or broth to cover. Add the garlic and simmer until beans are tender.
For instant pot, put beans in pot (no soaking required) and fill pot halfway with water or broth. Add garlic cloves and sets pressure cooker to 30 minutes. Let release naturally.
Drain the beans and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a deep ovenproof skillet. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, cook for about a minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes and stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach until wilted.
Add the beans and stir to coat with the sauce.
Sprinkle the feta overtop, followed by the breadcrumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is browned.
While the beans are in the oven, make the pesto by putting the herbs, garlic, almonds, and cheese in a food processor. Pulse until combined and drizzle in about half the oil until blended. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Add more oil if you like and stir.