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In fact I predict that you will begin to obsessively make this recipe over and over again until one day you will find yourself sitting in your nightclothes in front of your computer reading Tweets about things you really don’t care about at all, eating cold succotash from an old yogurt container and you will realize that you have in fact grown quite tired of this dish, but by then corn season will be over and it will be time to work on getting sick of pumpkin.
So, first of all, Sagegreen very generously offers you the option of making this dish with either edamame soy beans or baby lima beans. But I am telling you that you should use lima beans (I don’t think mine were babies they were pretty big actually) because they are in the market right now and are true to the spirit of this dish. Now you might pause here to remember that I staunchly advocated making carbonara with green beans, an act that caused the chewing class to have such a social media meltdown that I thought I would have to send emergency vehicles to various gastro pubs across this great nation to revive people over micro brews.
So, to summarize, no one dares to tell me I can’t put vegetables in my carbonara, but I am telling you to use fresh lima beans here (as you see above, my pals at food52 were obstreperous and anti-southern and went their own way with edamame). You will shell them yourself. Here is how you do that:
1. Buy fresh lima beans.
2. Ask your children to shell them while you put your water up to boil.
3. If step 2 fails, put a large load of sheets in the washer and make them fold them later, and shell them yourself into a very pretty bowl and imagine you are being food styled even though you have burned and ugly hands. Try to find someone to keep you company while you do this, but if you fail, listen to Beyoncé, who is totally on your side in this.
I do think it is important not to let your starches get mushy here, as the author suggests, but I found the cooking times a bit on the narrow side and my corn and beans both needed at least another minute. Your times may vary so pay attention. In just a few minutes, however, it will be time to drain these guys (don’t forget to reserve a bit of water as you will need it) and add your fat. I happened to have sour cream on hand, which worked very well, but all things being equal I would prefer crème fraîche and will use it the next time. I had an abundance of mint in my garden, so I used that, but dill would probably be a little better match for these beans.
- 5 cups water Ask a question about this ingredient.
- pinch of kosher salt Ask a question about this ingredient.
- 1 cup fresh edamame soy beans or baby lima beans Ask a question about this ingredient.
- 2 cups corn kernels, cut off the cob (@4 smallish ears, silver queen or shoepeg preferred) Ask a question about this ingredient.
- 1 tablespoon butter, to taste Ask a question about this ingredient.
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream/Greek yogurt (fage) for a twist, or a mix Ask a question about this ingredient.
- dash of white pepper Ask a question about this ingredient.
- pinch of salt Ask a question about this ingredient.
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill, snipped Ask a question about this ingredient.
- 2 teaspoons rolled and snipped fresh mint, as an alternative herb Ask a question about this ingredient.
- Bring the water with a pinch of salt to a boil . Add the fresh edamame or lima beans and cook for 4 minutes. Add the raw corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes more or until all vegetables are tender and not mushy. Drain most all of the water, saving about two tablespoons with the vegetables. Ask a question about this step.
- While the vegetables are still hot, add the butter and creme fraiche for the traditional style (or consider using sour cream or fage for a much tangier version, or a mix with some creme fraiche). Stir over low heat and gently warm. Adjust seasoning with your favorite artisan salt and pepper. Ask a question about this step.
- Add fresh dill or mint and serve warm.
Photo by William Brinson.
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.