Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I love butter beans. Growing up, we had what we called lima beans as a side dish at least twice a week. My mother would drain the lima beans (always from a can – never fresh in those days), heat them up and serve them with butter. I used to mash up the beans on my plate, incorporating their silky butter coating into a butter bean mash. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was creating one of my favorite ways to serve butter beans (and most beans for that matter) - whizzed with a little butter and served as a side dish in place of mashed potatoes.
The other way I serve butter beans is in a cold, deli-style salad. I make healthy, hopefully delicious, deli-style salads almost every Sunday. I whip up a large batch and bring it with me to work for a week’s worth of lunches.
This butter bean salad is very simple to make and holds up well (actually improving in flavor) after a few days in the refrigerator. Beans, tuna, a little lemon for brightness and green onions are the stars. Add salt, pepper and olive oil and you have a great salad that will keep you fed throughout the week.
I like this salad just on its own, but I added some toasted, garlic-rubbed slices of baguette for a little more heartiness for the boyfriend. It would also be great served over a bed of lettuce or added to pasta for a cold pasta salad.
Butter Bean Salad
Serves 3 – 4
1 can butter beans
2 cans solid white tuna (I use water packed)
Zest of one lemon
Juice from one lemon
2 – 3 T of extra virgin olive oil
4 green onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
½ t salt
¼ t of freshly ground pepper
Drain and rinse the butter beans. Drain the tuna. In a medium bowl combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 T of olive oil, the onions and salt and pepper. Taste the dressing and if it is too tangy from the lemon, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tuna and beans to the dressing and stir until combined.