Leftovers: Beans

I started to call this “Secret Ingredient: Lemon.” But I think that having ideas to use leftovers in easy, delicious ways is much more important. Especially in this economy.

Last Sunday, we had a couple of friends over for dinner. Ribs, slow cooked lima beans, slaw. And blackberry cobbler for dessert. We finished the ribs and slaw yesterday, and the beans were left. I got up this morning planning to make roasted salmon and lentils in mustard vinaigrette tonight. Like everywhere else in the country, it’s freakin’ hot. I didn’t want to heat up the oven and mess up a bunch of pans and make too much of an effort.

Another way that I enjoy salmon is steaming it. This method renders salmon almost sugary sweet – to die for, folks. I could use the beans as the platform to hold the salmon above the steaming liquid, aka the bean juice.


I strained the beans from most so their liquid then added grated rind of half a lemon (another leftover). Once the beans were bubbling over medium heat, I placed a half pound filet on top and put the lid on the skillet. I lowered the heat to low so the liquid barely simmered.


The salmon was done in ten minutes. I squeezed the rindless lemon over the salmon and served dinner The whole operation took less than 20 minutes. The air conditioner never kicked on.


Look at the stuff in your fridge, and create something new using the steps of your traditional recipe. Don’t get crazy – throwing in the kitchen sink is often not great soup, just a muddled disappointment.


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