Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Garlic Scented Lima Beans
Fennel, Feta, Mint, Oregano, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil

Cool-crisp Persian cucumbers and creamy-buttery lima beans make a delightful summer duo. Fennel adds a bright crunch with a sweet, nutty anise flavor.

The large limas by Lompoc Beans are sold at our local Torrance Farmers Market. They are also available online. Grown in Santa Barbara County, the beans cook up beautifully smooth and tender.

Soak 2 cups of beans in water for 4 1/2 hours then drain. Place beans in a pot and add fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 4 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer, cook uncovered, for one hour. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Cook al dente (soft but not mushy), taste a few beans for doneness. Drain. Set aside to serve at room temperature.

It’s a fun salad to compose. Put cucumber chunks in a roomy ziplock bag and smash with a mallet. Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle fruity olive oil into the bag. Add shaved fennel and toss the bag to coat the veggies with the dressing. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

Smashed Cucumber Salad Composition

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Lemony Alaskan Cod, Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans, Olives, Tomatoes

Lemony Alaskan Cod, Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans, Olives, Tomatoes

Wild-Caught Alaskan Cod, Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans
Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Onion
Meyer Lemon, White Wine, Olive Oil, Oregano

Here are two of my favorite frozen foods in one dish: Cod from the freezing cold clear waters of Alaska and Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans from California.

Alaska
This is Glacier Bay, Alaska

This one-skillet dinner is a variation of one of my most popular, Alaskan Cod/Mediterranean Flavors. Here, I replace artichokes with Fordhook Lima Beans – those delicious pale green, plump, plush succulent legumes.

I use the PictSweet Farms Lima Beans, “The Fordhook variety of Lima Beans was introduced in California in 1904. This variety requires warm days and cool nights to develop their large, firm bean with award-winning texture.”

Nana's Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup Inspired by Nana

Unlike my siblings, I’ve always been a huge fan of huge beans. Ever since I was a kid, I loved how my Nana would cook dried Lima Beans in her chicken soup. I adored those big velvety butter beans. I add them to my chicken soup now too, but cook them separately so the broth stays clear.

Lemony Alaskan Cod, Heirloom Fordhook Lima Beans Recipe

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What makes this the best Chicken Noodle Soup?

best matzoh ball soup

Homemade Chicken Soup with Herbed Matzoh Balls
Garlic-Scented Lima Beans, Micro-Thin Carrot Slices
Fine Egg Noodles, Hand-Shredded Roasted Chicken Breast
Fresh Parsley and Dill Garnish

matzah ball, matzoh ball

This soup is dedicated to my Nana. I thank her for inspiring me with a life-long passion to explore the cuisine of our heritage. Year after year, I tweak her original chicken soup recipe. This one, prepared in celebration of the High Holy Days (5772 on the Hebrew calendar) resulted in one of the best versions ever. The matzoh balls were light and fluffy, the garlic-scented lima beans added heft, the flavorful broth was beautifully clear and just barely rich. Delicate fine egg noodles and colorful carrots balanced out the dish.

Fanny Hirsch

My paternal Grandparents – Irving and Fanny Hirsch (front center)

Careful attention to each component is what makes it special. This soup uses two birds, one for making the broth, the other is roasted – the breast meat shredded and added just before serving. From the double-strained flavorful broth with the tiniest amount of schmaltz droplets providing a hint of richness, to the elegantly sliced carrots (I was never of fan of a floating carrot log), to the garlicky-creamy beans – I am certain my Nana would have approved.

Chicken Soup Recipe

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