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Lima beans with shrimps and cherry tomatoes

A common dish of the Greek cuisine, made in a different way.

ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 5 € pp)
  • salt
  • 250 g lima beans
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 12 shallots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500 g small, cheap, but fresh shrimps
  • EV olive oil
  • chopped parsley

Lima beans are very popular in Greece, I’d say the most popular of all beans. Maybe because there is a vast production in the northern part of the country and, especially, near Prespes lake. And Greeks have many ways to prepare them. One of them is in the oven with tons of tomatoes. The result? Simply disgusting!

I replaced the tomato sauce with some cherry tomatoes and I also pre-boiled the beans, in order to make them tender like cream although Greek lima beans (we call them giants) have a very very thin peel, something that gives the possibility to the local cooks to bake them without pre-boiling. I don´t follow this way. But let´s start.

We soak the beans, the night before, in mineral or filtered water. DO NOT use anything else, especially soda, which will destroy the beans’ peel and will provoke an awful and tavern-look to the dish.

The next day we drain the beans, we put them in a big pot full of cold water and we bring to a boil. After about 5 minutes we are going to see some foam on the surface of the water. With a slotted spoon we start removing the foam till the moment the beans stop producing any more. We take the beans out of the “dirty” water and we wash them under running water.

Meanwhile, in a pot with boiling salted water we boil the small shrimps for 2 minutes. We remove them, we wait for the temperature of the water to lower and we add the shallots, cut in halves. We simmer them, till tender. We remove them and we wait again for the water to cool even more.

We add the beans along with a bay leaf in the same pot with the same (already cooled) water, scented by the shrimps. We bring to heat and when the water starts boiling, we reduce the heat to low and we let the beans simmer till tender. We remove the beans and we keep them aside.

We preheat the oven to 190 Celsius degrees.

In a baking pan with olive oil we add the shallots and the cherry tomatoes, cut also in halves along with some more salt, if required. We roast them for about 15 minutes and then we add the beans, without stirring them. We just move the baking sheet in order to cover the beans with oil. We bake for at least another 15 minutes, or till the beans’ upper surface becomes crispy. We add the shrimps and we continue baking for 2 more minutes.

We serve, garnishing with some chopped parsley.


Published in LEGUMES