Hey, cool beans!
I fell in love with gigante beans way back when I worked at a local Italian Market right after college. We would get these huge cans that were imported from Italy and beautifully marinated in garlic, olive oil, herbs and vinegar. I'd never heard of gigante beans before, but after one taste I was hooked on these oversized, incredibly creamy legumes.
But when I went looking for gigante beans in the market, I could never find them. I wondered if they only grew outside of the United States? Even in specialty food stores and Italian markets I struggled to find a fresh, dried or canned version of the bean to use in my own cooking.
That was until I realized they go by a few different names in America, and they've been hiding right under my nose this whole time.
Turns out, gigante beans are widely available in America and you can find them in just about any supermarket. Except they're sold under the name "giant lima beans" or "butter beans," the latter being especially common in the south, which makes perfect sense considering their rich, buttery texture.
So I bought me a bag of Goya brand giant lima beans and put them to work. First, a long soak overnight to rehydrate, then over to the stove to simmer with a few aromatics until tender, and then marinated with lots of zippy Spanish flavors. Garlic! Smoked paprika! Sherry Vinegar! Olé!
This salad is lovely served warm, but it's also wonderful after it's had a chance to marinate for a few days in the fridge. This is a budget-friendly recipe made with easy to find pantry ingredients, and it's perfect to keep on hand to munch on during busy days. This vegan-friendly dish is loaded with fiber and protein to keep you full and energized, plus it's packed with plenty of flavor to satisfy even the craziest of carnivores.
It's rich, smoky and vinegary. Creamy, crunchy and addictive. It's got YOU and YUM written all over it. Can ya dig?