Seasoned with saffron, ginger and cinnamon, this North African dish also features ingredients from the American South. Terry advises letting the dish sit overnight to meld the multicultural flavors. Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Soundtrack: “Ya Messinagh” by Tinariwen (featuring The Dirty Dozen Brass Band) from Tassili
- ⅔ cup dried lima beans, sorted and soaked in water overnight
- 1 (3-inch) piece of kombu
- 1½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
- Scant 2 cups vegetable stock, homemade or store-bought
- 1 large pinch of saffron threads
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
- Freshly ground white pepper
- ¼ cup packed chopped cilantro
- Spicy Mustard Greens, for serving
- Drain the lima beans and rinse them well.
- Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the kombu and enough water to cover by 2 inches.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Decrease the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer until just tender but still firm, 25 to 45 minutes.
- Check the beans often to ensure that they don’t overcook, skimming off any foam and discarding any floating skins.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of the salt and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drain in a colander, remove the kombu and rinse the beans under cold water.
- Pour the stock into a medium bowl and crumble the saffron into it.
- Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and sauté until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the stock.
- Add the sweet potatoes, agave nectar and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.
- Decrease the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the lima beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
- Discard the cinnamon stick. Season with white pepper and, if desired, more salt.
- Serve garnished with the cilantro and offer the harissa alongside.