These Mediterranean-style baked lima beans is a delicious and delightful dish. Great to serve with rice, potatoes, and steamed greens! Lima beans are baked in a savory tomato sauce with vegetables, thyme, and oregano, and topped off with fresh cilantro and mint. It can also be served with pita, hummus, and olives as part of a mezze spread.
Mediterranean Baked Lima Beans [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 cup dried lima beans
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, shredded
- 1 15.5-ounce can of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- Soak the lima beans for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large pot with cold water and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium heat. Simmer the beans for 30 minutes or until the beans are tender but not fully cooked through. Skim off any foam that collects while cooking.
- Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water and the bay leaf, and set aside. Dissolve the bouillon cube in the reserved 1 cup of hot bean liquid and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a Dutch oven or a baking dish or a casserole pan.
- Heat olive oil in a pan or the Dutch oven (if using), add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion turns translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the carrot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next add the tomatoes, reserved bean water, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, maple syrup, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 10-12 minutes, to thicken the sauce.
- Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Add the beans, parsley, and mint.
- Transfer the beans to the baking dish (if using the Dutch oven, just transfer it to the oven), cover the pan with foil, and bake the beans, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the interior of the beans is creamy.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, to thicken the sauce a little and the beans are slightly dry.
- Remove from the oven, remove the bay leaf, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.