Tag Archives: beans


Lima Beans . . . Yum?

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my Nana told me that she loved lima beans when she was my age.  Then she paused briefly before going on to say, “But they just don’t taste the same anymore.” 

No wonder.  The lima beans of my Nana’s adulthood — and for all of my childhood —  were either the salty canned variety or the insipid frozen kind. 

While I never turned my nose up at lima beans, I never really embraced them, either.  That is, until, I found them at my farmers market, fresh and still in their pods. 

Now I finally understand why Nana once loved lima beans.

Lima Beans . . . Yum?


Jerusalem Peace Beans

One of the gifts I received this past holiday season was a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s cookbook, “Jerusalem.”  Both Ottolenghi and Tamimi grew up in the city of Jerusalem, and, though Ottolenghi is Jewish and Tamimi is Arab, they became — in their own words — “close friends and then business partners.”

When string bean season started here in New York a couple weeks ago, I turned to Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s book for ideas.  There I found a wonderful recipe using a variety of string beans, garlic, onion, fresh herbs, cumin, and coriander seeds.  When tossed together, this hodgepodge of flavors create a beautiful and harmonious dish. 

With the conflict rearing its ugly head in Israel again, I can only dream that Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s friendship will become as inspirational  for the world as their cookbook has become for me.

Peace Beans


Anatomy of a Cranberry Bean

When I was a little girl, my paternal grandmother had a sewing basket that she kept in the enclosed back porch of her Chicago home.  Inexplicably, at the bottom of the basket — alongside the needles, thread, and darning egg  — were more than a dozen shiny marbles, each different from the other.  I couldn’t wait to hold each one up to the light and admire its size, shape, color, and unique design.  Each year, when cranberry beans come into season, I am reminded of the surprise I experienced when I first found the precious and beautiful little objects in such an unpredictable place.

Cranberry Beans


Chick Pea, Singular

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never given much thought to how chick peas — also known as garbanzo beans — come into the world.  For most of us, we are familiar with them only once their dried and put in a bag or cooked and put in a can.  You may be surprised, then, to learn that they come into the world the way most humans do — alone.  Unlike other legumes, most chick peas come in their own little pod.  I guess that means they don’t fight much with their siblings while they’re growing up.

Chick Pea