Lima Beans with Ham and Freekeh

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.

Yellow Eyes

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
  1. Render bacon (plus olive oil if needed) in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook until they start to become translucent.
  3. Add carrots and turnips (or whatever root vegetables you have on hand) and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. After half an hour, stir in the freekeh.
  6. 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.

Lima Beans with Ham and Freekeh

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.