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Christmas Lima Beans with Tomato and Celery

Christmas Limas finished

Aren’t these maroon-spotted dried beans beautiful? They’re Christmas lima beans. I found them in the bulk bin at Whole Foods, and instantly decided to cook up Christmas lima beans with tomato and celery. I came right home and covered them in water to soak overnight. Christmas limas are big beans, at least twice the size of a black bean–they do take an overnight bath to come out tender with cooking.

The recipe is easy. All you do is simmer the soaked beans with onions and garlic and tomatoes and celery until they’re tender. The result–soul food at its finest. Ladle this soul food over sautéed kale and steamed brown rice for a sumptuous meal.

raw christmas limas


I told someone last night that food blogging is my new sport. I practice taking photos, writing energetic, good, interesting English and I’m learning to dance with social media. I am having fun and it is exercise, of the brain that is, since I sit on my butt at a computer. (update: I got a stand-up desk–I love it!)

Right now, I‘m headed from the desk to the kitchen. I’m going to heat up yummy leftover Christmas lima beans and decorate gingerbread men and women. And whip up a batch of cranberry orange bread for Christmas morning.

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Christmas Lima Beans with Tomato and Celery
Author: Letty Flatt
  • 1 cup dried Christmas lima beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 celery ribs , sliced 3/8 inch thick
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Real Salt
  1. Rinse the beans and put them in a bowl, covering them amply with cold water. Let soak at least 6 hours or ideally, overnight.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pot or pressure cooker over medium flame. Stir in the onion, celery and garlic, and sauté until the onions soften, 5 minutes or so.
  3. Add the tomatoes, water, sage, bay leaf and pepper. Drain the soaked beans, rinse again, and add them into the pot.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower the heat so the liquid simmers just below a boil, and cook until the beans are tender, 2 to 2 ½ hours. (Check the pot every so often and top with more water if the level is getting low.)
  5. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the salt. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve over rice and cooked kale or collards or chard, something green.
Recipe Notes

For pressure cooking: Bring the cooker to pressure and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally, 10 to 15 minutes.

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