Butter bean main dish

Buttery bean puree, crispy asparagus, caramelized scallops, sweet blood orange and toasted almonds. Need I say more? Slice the asparagus into long ribbons to make this dish a real treat. 

Dried butter beans

For the bean puree I used lima beans, also called ‘butter beans’ because of their creamy texture. Sometimes they go by the name ‘elephant beans’ because they are two centimeters long. Personally, I love the taste of dried beans, but for a faster meal you can use canned beans. Soak dried lima beans for at least eight hours in a bowl with water. Drain and rinse and put in a large pan with water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Let simmer for 45-60 minutes, until the beans are soft.

Butter beans

Hummus beans and bean soup

You can do a lot more with butter beans. Use the bean puree as an alternative basis for hummus. Delicious with sea salt, a clove of garlic, olive oil and some seasoning like paprika, curry or turmeric. Or  turn the leftovers into a soup by adding some vegetable broth.

Hand picked

Scallops come from many different oceans. If at all possible, ask for a environmentally friendly kind. For example, from September to May you can buy Norwegian scallops, which are caught in a sustainable way and whose population is in balance. They are actually hand picked from the sea, without damaging any surroundings. The famous French scallop is often caught with nets, making it a less sustainable choice. A well baked scallop has a caramelized crust and slightly translucent, very soft meat. If you bake them too long, they become white and chewy.

Dutch asparagus


Butter bean puree

with asparagus and scallops


Ingredients (4 people)

50 g flaked almonds
2 (blood) oranges
4 tbsp olive oil
600 g green asparagus
800 g cooked white lima beans
2 cloves of garlic
12 scallops

Vegetarian: Replace the scallops by 4 poached eggs


Toast the almonds over low heat until golden brown. Set aside.

Put the juice and zest of 2 blood oranges in a small saucepan and simmer on low heat until reduced by about half. Remove the pan from the heat and add the olive oil. Season the dressing with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

Remove the woody ends of the asparagus. Slice with a cheese slicer, from the heads down, long thin ribbons of the asparagus; about 4 per asparagus. Bring a layer of water to the boil and steam the asparagus and heads with the lid on the pan for about 3 minutes and drain. Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan.

Put about half of the lima beans in the food processor and press the garlic clove above it. Add 4 dl hot water and blend to a puree. Add the other half of the lima beans and mix again until smooth.

Pat the scallops dry and coat with olive oil. Grill for about 1 minute on each side.

Scoop the bean puree onto the plates and place the asparagus on top. Drizzle over the dressing and finish with scallops and almonds.