Chadwick Boyd takes an old tried-and-true recipe like lima beans and gives it a fresh kick, by adding edamame and mint, along with crispy lardons.Living the best of both worlds, Chadwick Boyd runs his company, Lovely & Delicious Enterprises, from kitchens in Atlanta, Georgia. and NYC. He’s gained the trust of his many followers with his modern updates on traditional dishes but it is his love of Southern food that shines through.
Take for instance, his love of Benton’s Bacon, which is used in this modern take on a recipe for lima beans. “I learned a lot from my friendship with Allan Benton,” says Boyd. “There are many of us who are inspired by the simplicity and deliciousness of really good bacon; but what I really learned from him is that bacon is more than flavor.”
For Boyd it’s all about texture, and with this dish, he wanted to add some subtle flavor to the fresh beans, but didn’t want it take away from the beans themselves. “I wanted to add a bit of texture and interest to the dish; like a bit of a surprise. So, I chose to use extra thick bacon and turn it into lardons to add saltiness and crunch… and it’s a different way to use bacon. Yet, it’s a very simple thing to do – any home cook can do it. So I blended those ideas, to make it mine.”
“I remember my Nana making succotash for dinners when I was a little kid.”
Boyd often comes across home cooks who feel that they have to do recipes handed down to them from grandmothers and aunts “exactly” like they did them. “I say, ‘Use those recipes, but make them your own!’”
That’s one of the reasons he added the mint to this dish – because it is surprising. It’s something not many home cooks think they can or should add to vegetables. But it breaks up the fat in the dish, giving it a fresh taste, rather than a heavy one. Adding the edamame also gave this dish contrasting greens to work with, creating diversity of textures
LIMAS & EDAMAME WITH CRISPY LARDONS & MINT
Copyright © 2015 Lovely & Delicious Enterprises, Inc. Created by Chadwick Boyd
This recipe uses lima beans and edamame as its base. I like their texture and variations of green color together. Usually, though, I throw in other beans and peas, like butter beans or fresh crowder or other field peas – whatever I have on hand or suits my fancy. This dish invites creativity and improvisation once you get the swing of it. If using fresh beans or peas, cook them first until tender, and then follow the rest of the steps of the recipe. The crispy lardons here add great flavor and a meaty crunch – they are a surprising way to serve bacon and give this dish its distinct flavor. The fresh mint brightens the flavors with a light and refreshing touch at the very end.
- 1 10 oz. package frozen lima beans, thawed
- 1 10 oz. package frozen edamame, thawed
- 5 strips thick cut bacon
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 small shallots, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
- whole mint leaves for garnish
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a large colander, drain the limas and edamame well. (If the beans are still frozen, run hot water over them to expedite thawing). Pat well with paper towel to remove any excess water. Let stand while cooking the bacon.
Cut the bacon strips crossways about 1/3” thick.
Heat a large skillet (cast iron preferred) on medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook about 10 minutes until crispy and most of the fat is rendered. Stir occasionally with a wooden spatula to ensure even cooking.
Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to doubled up paper towel to wick away the grease.
Remove all but two tablespoons of bacon grease from the skillet. Return to medium heat and add the butter. Allow the butter to melt into the grease. Mix together with the spatula. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until tender and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Place the limas and edamame in the skillet. Toss to coat well and let heat through about 5-6 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the fresh mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon onto a serving platter. Scatter the crispy lardons on top. Garnish with additional mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Submitted by Chadwick Boyd
Photography by Gordon Lynch