Nope, it’s not a typo or a city in Peru. I really do love lima beans. But I’m not talking about those dry white beans your grandmother boiled into mush or fed you straight from the can. (Well, okay, I like those too, but I’ll save that for a future post.) The vegetable I’m raving about this week is fresh lima beans—harvested, shelled, and eaten while still green, before the beans have matured and their sugars turned to starch. I planted limas for the first time several years ago. What a revelation! The immature limas were a new side to a vegetable I thought I knew. Steamed and served like peas, they have a distinct and mildly sweet flavor. I often eat them with rice to make a complete protein and if I’m feeling decadent, drizzle them with olive oil or butter.
Tonight I served my green limas atop leftover spaghetti squash sautéed with fresh tomatoes and oregano. I discovered spaghetti squash among the glossy pages of a seed catalogue a few years back and planted it on a whim. Prolific and hardy, it’s now become a staple of my autumn diet and a regular substitute on my plate for both rice and pasta.
To prepare spaghetti squash, simply cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then place the de-seeded halves on a baking dish or cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until soft. Then use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti-like strings of the squash. You can eat it plain, with butter or olive oil, or you can top it with your favorite sauce or stir-fried vegetables. I especially like it with homemade fresh tomato sauce and grated parmesan. Add a salad of fall greens from Harvest of Joy Farm LLC and a slice of garlic bread and you’ve got dinner!