Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lima Bean Casserole

Here's another bigtime personal favorite that originated here in Baltimore. It's a routine contribution from our kitchen to pot-lucks, and once again relates to my local culinary "roots." As with the previous Unique Culinary Adventures Baked Cucumbers post, it's a wonderful vegetable dish offered up in the spirit of a season where great fresh vegetable options hereabouts are in short---and/or expensive--- supply. This time the decades old local cookbook from which I adapted the recipe actually exists and is in my possession. It's a 1973 project of the Women's Committee of Baltimore's Walters Art Gallery entitled Private Collections: A Culinary Treasure.

Note that I say "adapted" and not "copied." That's about measurement. The original recipe calls for "1 package frozen lima beans," and gives no size or weight. Through the years I always had great success using flat boxes weighing 10---or was it 12? ounces. That's how lima beans were typically packaged in those days. Whatever their weight, they weighed distinctively less than the 16 ounce plastic bags that are more prevalent today. So adjustments were made.


1 16 ounce package frozen lima beans

3/8 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

6 tablespoons butter

3/8 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 cup shredded cabbage

1 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons shredded parmesan/romano cheese (original recipe says grated parmesan)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook beans according to package directions. Drain and turn into a shallow casserole. Cook sliced mushrooms, onions, and cabbage in butter until soft. Add to the beans along with salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4

Adapted from a recipe contributed by Edward L. Brewster to Private Collections: A Culinary Treasure, copyright 1973 by Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore Maryalnd