Ensalada de Pallares ~ Lima Beans Salad for Food of the World
Starting this month, I will be co-hosting Food of the World, an event start by Diane. This virtual party starts every second Tuesday of the month and every month it is a different country. This month, Food of World is going to Peru to taste some Peruvian cuisine. Peruvian cuisine is influenced by natives and the cuisine brought in by the immigrants from Europe, Asia and West Africa. Corn, potatoes & tubers, and legumes are staple food and the vast coastline provides abundant seafood.
Pallares or lima beans are one of the most common legumes used in Peruvian cuisine. These beans were original cultivated around Lima in Peru. One version of the story why these beans are called lima beans is that when these were exported from Peru, the boxes were labeled Lima, Peru. Since the boxes were from Lima, people started calling it Lima beans or beans from Lima and the name caught on. When I did a search on pallares recipes, I was surprised to see recipes for stews, salads to even desserts! This tells how popular these beans are in Peru. Another ingredient very common in Peruvian cuisine is aji amarillo, a yellow pepper with a mild taste. Aji in Spanish is chili pepper and amarillo means yellow. I initially planned on doing a beverage from this country and in the last minute changed my mind. I did not have time to go shopping for aji amarillo. I should have at least picked up a paste from the local store but this thought occurred to me a little too late. I went ahead and used a green chili instead.
I use frozen lima beans a lot but seldom use dry lima beans. I was a bit hesitant to try the salad but still went ahead as I like lima beans and I was not disappointed. Lima beans salad is prepared by soaking the beans overnight, cooking until tender and then rested in the salad dressing for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. An interesting observation on how the legumes are used in some of the Peruvian food is that after cooking the legumes/beans until tender, the skin is removed. It is time consuming but worth all the effort! Today for this salad, I skinned only half the beans as some of the beans were getting mushy when I tried to remove the skin. Hindsight, wished I had skinned all the beans!
Adapted from: Peruvian Food
- ½ cup Dry Lima Beans
- ½ small – medium sized Red Onion sliced
- 4 – 5 Grape Tomatoes cut into 6-8 pieces vertically
- 1 small Green Chili seeded and chopped (¼ Aji Amarillo Fresco)
- ¼ tsp. Dry Oregano
- ½ – 1 tbsp. Parsley chopped
- ¼ tsp. White Vinegar (I used White Wine Vinegar)
- 1 ½ tbsp. Lime Juice or juice of ½ a Lime
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Olive Oil (this is my addition)
- ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper Powder (adjust to taste)
- Wash and soak lima beans overnight or for at least 6 hours. Change water and transfer the beans to sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium – medium high and cook until beans are soft and cooked. This should take about 20 minutes. Strain the beans and remove the skin of the beans. This is optional.
- In a medium bowl, make the dressing by mixing together oil, vinegar, lime juice, oregano, parsley, chopped green chili, salt and pepper.
- Add onions and tomatoes and toss. Lastly add lima beans and toss until the dressing coats the beans.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavors to soak into the beans.
- Serve as a side dish or as a light snack.
Please add your Peruvian recipes to the linky below and visit my co-host to see what they are cooking.
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