Fried Lima Beans with Feta, Spinach, & Sumac

Fried Lima Beans

It’s a little past midnight and I kid you not, we literally just finished eating dinner 10 minutes ago. Mind you, I started prepping for this dish two days ago. Don’t freak out, this dish does not take 48 hours to make. You just need a child that is willing to sleep without your lips kissing the top of her head the entire time her eyes are closed.

Aside from a little bit of super simple prep work, this dish takes only moments to put together. It tastes great warm, room temperature, or cold, so if your dog wants to go out the moment your kid decides to go nuts, don’t worry about the dish losing any of its lovely flavor or texture. It will still be there when you finally find that moment to eat.


Serves 4;  adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty


  • 1 lb dried lima beans*
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp butter (maybe more) (MAKE IT VEGAN: use all olive oil)
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil (maybe more), plus extra to finish
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced lengthwise into long strips
  • 5 garlic* cloves, microplaned
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 5 oz baby spinach*, cut into ¾” strips
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 oz feta, crumbled (MAKE IT VEGAN: kill the feta – the dish will still be tasty)
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • handful of chopped dill*
  • salt to taste (I used about 2 tsp)

*milk boosting 


Place the lima beans in a large pot and fill with cold water. Add the baking soda and leave to soak overnight.

The next day (or the day after depending on your schedule), drain the beans and rinse. Fill the pot with fresh cold water and bring it (with the beans) to a boil and continue cooking for at least 30 minutes or until beans are soft. (Test by biting into a bean. It should be easy to bite into the bean, but the bean shouldn’t disintegrate.) When they are fully cooked, drain the beans.

Next, you’re going to fry the beans in batches. Get out a large frying pan and set the heat to medium-high. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter to the pan and let heat up. Add enough beans to cover the bottom of the pan in one layer, but no more. Add a little bit of salt and let the beans cook for 2 minutes per side or until the skin is golden brown and blistered. Remove to a large bowl and repeat with the olive oil, butter and beans until all beans are cooked.

When you cooking the second side of the final batch of beans, add the green onions, chiles, garlic, and spinach and sauté for a minute or two. Add the rest of the beans and some salt. Stir to incorporate.

Turn off the heat and add the lemon, sumac, and dill. Stir, taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary. Top with feta and a drizzle of olive oil.

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