There’s a new kid at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. Founded in 2003, Cayuga Pure Organics‘ mission is to create a food system that works. Along the way, they are producing some beautiful dried beans and grains. On Saturday I bought some exceptionally pretty yellow-eyed peas, which I look forward to reporting on in a future post.
I also bought half a pound of freekeh, a grain I’d heard of but didn’t know much about. The Internet tells me that it’s actually green wheat that has been burned to remove the straw and chaff, giving it a smoky flavor. Like many whole grains, it’s high in protein and fiber and has a low glycemic index. My hunch that it would be toothsome and hold up to the lima beans I was planning to cook proved to be true.
Lima Beans with Ham and Freekeh
- 1 pound dried white baby lima beans, soaked overnight and drained
- 2 ounces bacon (plus a little olive oil if your bacon is particularly lean)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 5 turnips, peeled and diced
- 1 cup red wine
- water and/or chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon or more crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound ham, cut into cubes
- 1/2 pound freekeh or other whole grain wheat such as spelt, farro or rye
- salt and pepper
- Render bacon (plus olive oil if needed) in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onions and cook until they start to become translucent.
- Add carrots and turnips (or whatever root vegetables you have on hand) and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the lima beans, red wine, and enough water or chicken stock to cover. Add rosemary, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and ham. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
- After half an hour, stir in the freekeh.
- Let simmer for 45 minutes or so until the lima beans and freekeh are tender but not yet mush. Add salt and pepper to taste.
WARNING: This makes a lot of food and is very filling. I ate a decent portion, gave some to my neighbors (who hit me back with some tasty steamed mussels), and still have five portions waiting in the fridge–which is not such a bad thing given that I have a ton of reading to do this week, a big work event on Thursday, and a research paper due on Friday.