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This salad is cooked but should be served at room temperature. To cut back on cooking time you can use canned or frozen lima beans. Posted for ZWT4.
- 2 cups lima beans
- 3 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ham, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 cup corn oil
- 1⁄3 cup maple syrup
- 1⁄3 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely minced
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head red-leaf lettuce, separated into leaves, washed and patted dry
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced into rings
- In a large bowl, combine the beans with cold water to cover them by at least three inches. Soak overnight. Drain the beans and transfer them to a large, heavy pot. Add fresh cold water to cover by at least three inches, set over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring once or twice, for 25 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the salt and continue to cook gently until the beans are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes longer. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- In a large skillet over medium heat combine the ham and 3 tablespoons of the corn oil.
- Cook, tossing and stirring often, until the ham is crisp and brown, 6 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the ham to the bowl with the beans. do not clean the pan.
- Set the skillet over hight heat and stir in the maple syrup, cider vinegar and the remaining corn oil. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the thyme, boil 1 minutes and pour the hot dressing over the ham and beans. Add the carrots and stir. Season with the remaining salt and a generous grind of black pepper and stir again. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Bring the salad to return to room temperature. Adjust the seasoning. Serve on lettuce leaves and top with red onion.