Do you believe in that baffling occurance they call food bloggers’ synchronicity? More and more often, people halfway across the world from each other are reaching for the same things in the market, whipping up the same desserts, trying the same dishes and techniques for the first time…all by coincidence. Strange, mysterious, yet oddly comforting…serendipitous affirmation. What moves us to simultaneously think up of the same dishes or zero in on the same ingredients? Has all this blogging created a gastronomic collective unconscious?
Well, let’s leave that to Carl Jung while I get on with the lima beans, or patani, as it is called here, and my own little bit of synchronicity. Where do I begin? It all started on my honeymoon. In one of the (many) amazing restaurants we visited in Barcelona, I had a plate of lightly sauteed habas (broad beans) with ceps. In Malaga, we had a similar dish of habitas (smaller beans) with bacon. These dishes were simplicity itself, but so flavorful and delicious that they planted themselves firmly in my mind, urging me to replicate them or die craving.
Back in the tropics, I did cross paths with an interesting bean. I bought a bag and brought it home, but it proved to be the wrong one for my honeymoon bean dish. It did however, prove to be exactly the right one for another bean dish I had been meaning to try, inspired by another trip I had taken. So I post about this other bean dish (which happens to be a dip/spread), and a well-respected and popular local blogger, Marketman, comments on the “serious deja vu in the air” as he had just bought some lima beans in the market and was experimenting with a lima bean spread. What he didn’t know at that point though, is that I had also been to the market (different market but same day), and had also grabbed a bag of lima beans, because there were (yes! finally!) the right beans for my honeymoon bean dish!
Are you still with me? Good, because as complicated as that was, is how simple this dish is to make. And it is absolutely delicious! I wanted to replicate the habitas with bacon that I had in Malaga. After some tips from Marketman, here’s what I did: Blanch the lima beans in boiling water and peel. Heat some olive oil in a pan and gently sautee some prosciutto. Toss in the beans, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and sautee briefly. That’s it! If you want you can drizzle some of your best extra virgin olive oil on top before serving. This makes an excellent side dish, or even a light meal. You can also use it to top a salad. I’m planning to toss the leftovers with some penne tomorrow. I’ll try the lima beans with mushrooms next!
I wonder if there’s someone out there making the same thing…gotta love these “happy accidents” 🙂