romanesco and christmas lima bean salad

comments 10
salads / sides / vegetarian


Once I made this last week I wasn’t sure what it was. It’s a bean salad with shreds of bitter radicchio and vegetables throughout, but it’s also almost like a super chunky, citrusy bean and veggie salsa. Or even a vegetarian taco filling that could go with avocado and fixings. We snacked on it with chips. The next night we even used the leftovers to put on top of another salad we made haha. Overall, it’s really bright, delicious, and the romanceso and bean combination is a really good thing. We added a few soft boiled eggs to it too just because.


My boyfriend and I like to cook together as much as we can. We eat the same. Mostly veggies, eggs, some fish, no meat. Lots of coffee, tea, Greek yogurt, Skyr. He’s so into food too. Sometimes he’ll bust out his dehydrator and make us raw treats. His “Mattyroons” made with macadamia nuts and coconut butter are incredible.

So, for an xmas gift, I picked up this big (20 pounds) box of heirloom beans thinking it would be a funny thing for us to get into. We’ve made a few awesome meals so far. A soup. Ragout with pan-fried halibut. And now a salad. Off to a good start.


If Christmas limas are not in reach, any bean that cooks up firmly and holds its shape is ideal for a bean salad. Sturdy beans like flageolet, and runner beans like scarlet runners, or cannellini would also work really well.

There isn’t one single best method of cooking beans in my opinion. When you’re in a hurry, you may want to use a pressure cooker. At the most basic though, you want to simmer in a Dutch oven, in a pot over the stove, in the oven, or in a slow cooker until the beans are soft, which can take 1 hour or even 3 to 4 hours depending on the age of your beans.


1/2 pound dry Christmas Lima beans, rinsed and soaked in water 2-6 hours (If using a pressure cooker, soaking is not needed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium sheet hand-harvested wild kombu (optional) -this helps improve the flavor, texture and digestibility of the beans
1 head romanesco, broken or cut into 1-inch florets
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tangerines or oranges, zest removed from one, 3 tablespoons of juice squeezed and reserved for dressing, and the remaining cut into clean supreme segments or wedges – (I used Sumo tangerines, they are super sweet and not that sour)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 head radicchio, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
4-6 large soft-boiled eggs, (optional)

To prepare the beans:
Rinse and drain the beans and soak covered in water anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Drain and place the beans in a large saucepot and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of salt and add the sheet of kombu to the pot. Bring to a boil and drop the heat to a low simmer until the beans are cooked through, tender, holding their shape. This can take anywhere from 1-2 hours or more depending on the beans. Remove from heat, carefully discard the kombu, drain, and set aside.

To make the salad:
In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the romanesco florets until bright green-and slightly tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the romanesco to an ice bath to cool. Drain well, and pat dry.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon and tangerine juices, zest, honey, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continually until the dressing comes together. Taste to adjust for seasonings.

Add the onion, bell pepper, romanesco, radicchio, beans, and tangerine segments to the dressing and sprinkle in the chopped dill and parlsey. Using a large spoon, toss gently until the dressing is generously coating the salad. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with soft-boiled eggs and at room temperature or chilled. This salad is delicious the next day after good marinating time. However,the romanesco florets significantly lose their color from the acid in the dressing. Best served within 2-4 hours.



  1. Oh wow, this is fabulous! It seems like we eat similarly in our home as you, and this would be a perfect addition to our rotation of veggie/egg/dressing combinations that we do often. So creative, and colorful! Bravo

  2. Such a beautiful salad! I have to say, I am jealous of that giant box of heirloom beans. :) Maybe I should keep it in mind for next holiday season!

    • Aw thanks Eileen! Omg most definitely! Finding ways to cook with them has been almost rewarding and just fun too. Have a lovely v-day weekend! x

  3. Salvatoré says

    Muy bonita ensalada! Verduras, frijoles, y huevos son mis favoritos. Espero que sea pronto.

  4. We bought that 20 pound box last year and are still working our way through it. I made a simpler version of this salad with our Christmas limes over the weekend!

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