We’re back! After a brief hiatus due to overwork, Summer of Salsa is back for week six. In case you haven’t been following, CP and I are celebrating summer by making a salsa every week. We are following recipes selected from the book Nueva Salsa by Rafael Palomino and Arlen Gargagliano.
This time we made Lima Bean, Kalamata Olive and Roasted Garlic Salsa paired with orecchiette pasta. The recipe requires a little prep work, so keep in mind you’re going to need ample time if you want to serve this yummy dish.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:
1 cup lima beans (or frozen edamame)
½ cup roasted red bell pepper, peeled seeded and julienned
1 roasted clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
(optional: 2 tbs. olive oil)
Okay, time for our big disclaimer. We didn’t use lima beans. We expected to be able to buy lima beans frozen or in a can, but when the grocery store only had dry lima beans we opted for frozen edamame as a substitute to cut down the three extra hours we’d need to prepare them. (Bonus: the edamame was already shucked). I think it worked just fine.
Here’s how to cook the lima beans if you want to go that route:
“Rinse and pick over the beans. Soak in water to cover by 2 inches for about 2 hours. Drain.
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add the beans, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour, or until tender but firm. Add salt”
Next prep your roasted garlic and red peppers.
“Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the garlic, then place on a square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and wrap in the foil. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until very soft.”
Obviously, it seems silly to heat up the oven to roast one clove of garlic. Go ahead, throw some more in there, for this dish or later use.
Changing it up again here. The book instructs to use the same roasting technique we used a few weeks ago for our Roasted Jalapeño and Citrus Salsa. But we opted for an easier route by tossing the red peppers in the oven along with the garlic (although not wrapped in foil). Post roast, the skin came off easily.
Now you’re done with the prep! Here’s what the book instructs to do next:
“In a large bowl, combine the beans, bell pepper, garlic, and olives. Gently stir, with a wooden spoon or your hand, just until blended. Stir in the pepper. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then stir in the cilantro and serve.”
While letting the salsa sit, go ahead and boil your pasta. Once the orecchiette are done, rinse to cool the pasta, and stir the pasta into your salsa with some olive oil. Voila! You have a light, summery meal.
This salsa had plenty of flavor, and looks beautiful to boot. We had no trouble cleaning our plates. [I have a hard time calling this a salsa. I'll call it a pasta salad, and it was pretty good, though it needed some seasoning for sure. –CP]
POST SCRIPT: The pasta is from my new favorite neighborhood joint, L&G Deli on the West Side. At $3.29 a pound it’s more expensive than other dried pastas, but worth every penny. I have seen this pasta rebranded for Rao’s and priced-up. It should also be noted that L&G’s owner, Julio, is a fine bocce player as well.