Fried Lima Beans with Feta, Sorrel, Sumac and Lemon


This recipe combines beans that originated in Peru with cooking techniques and spices from the Middle East AND the little green things that are starting to come out of the ground at this moment in New York State.  It used up a few delicious green spring herbs (ramps and sorrel) that I had enthusiastically purchased at the green market without a plan and a handful of beautiful dry beans that had been sitting on my shelf for far too long because they were almost too pretty to eat (Christmas Lima’s from Rancho Gordo), thus satisfying my spring cleaning urge a bit.   The recipe is from Plenty by Yotam Ottoglenghi.  I’ve said this before but it bears repeating…I love Ottoglenghi’s recipes because they turn out marvelously even though I never follow the recipe exactly.  This time, I used green spring garlic (ramps) instead of green onions and garlic, used light sesame oil instead of olive oil and didn’t actually measure anything!  This recipe calls for FOUR sour ingredients (Feta, Sorrel, Sumac and Lemon),  all of which I miraculously had on hand, but I am certain that if you had even two of these four ingredients the beans would be delicious!


adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottoghenghi

  • 1 pound dried lima beans (I cannot recommend Rancho Gordo Beans highly enough)
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil (I used light sesame oil because  I was out of olive oil)
  • 8  green onion sliced (I used ramps)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (I used one more ramp)
  • 2 fresh red chilies, thinly sliced (I didn’t have this so I skipped it)
  • 5 cup sorrel cut in to thin strips (set some aside for garnish)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoon lemons juice ( I used half a lemon)
  • 5 oz of feta crumbled (I like Bulgarian feta because it is delicious and inexplicably less expensive)
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • a handful of chopped dill or chervil (I didn’t have these so I skipped it)
  1. Soak the  beans overnight in a lot of water.
  2. The next day, drain the beans and place them in a pot with enough water (I like to salt the water) to generously cover them.  Bring to a boil and cook for half an hour.  If your beans are older it may take up to an hour.  Drain the beans.
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a very large skillet.  Fry the drained beans in batches so that they are in a single layer in the pan.  When they are blistered on both sides remove from the pan and fry the next batch.
  4. When all the beans are done add them back to the skillet along with the ramps (or green onions and garlic) and chilies if you are using them and fry for another minute.
  5. Season with salt, lemon juice and sumac.
  6. Garnish with feta and the reserved fresh sorrel along with any other herbs you are tossing in.  Eat it!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Darya says:

    Oh delicious! I found sorrel last week and almost tried this recipe, but then ended up just making soup and a stuffing for fish (both were good, but not as intriguing as the Ottolenghi recipe). I am glad you recommend it, I will most certainly give it a try the next time I acquire a bunch of sorrel!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s