Baby limas, butter beans … what do you call them and what is the difference? Likely, that depends on where you grew up as the definition seems to change based more on geographical upbringing than anything else.
One thing is certain: Alabamians seem to have perfected the butter bean & corn salad. The variations on this one recipe are numerous, and all come from my Alabama friends. After eating said variations for years, I developed my own recipe, based on most of theirs, and it’s one that I could eat every day.
All the different versions I’ve tried include four ingredients: butter beans, corn, mayonnaise and basil (and salt and pepper). From here, the variations may include goat cheese, sour cream, chives, tomatoes, bacon and more. You’ll also see some ingredients, like basil and chives, chopped and added or blended into a dressing and added. Different strokes, but all delicious.
I often top this recipe with a blend of fried okra, tomatoes and bacon. It makes for the perfect side to celebrate late summer.
Lastly, I often make this with leftovers as cooking up a big batch of butter beans and corn on the cob is easy to do one night and then you have the main things needed to make this salad. If you plan this way, it will also take you no time to whip this deliciousness together!
- 4 cups butter beans (cooked)
- 3 ears of corn on the cob (cooked)
- 3 slices of smoked applewood bacon
- 1 cup fresh okra, sliced thinly
- 1 cup chopped heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Duke's)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (I prefer Daisy)
- Handful of fresh basil (approx 12-15 leaves)
- Small handful of green onions, chopped (approx 1/3 cup)
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- This recipe assumes you are starting with cooked butter beans and corn on the cob. If you don't have these cooked, do so, and then wait for the vegetables to cool.
- Measure 4 cups of butter beans and pour into a large bowl.
- Cut all corn off the cob, break up and add to the bowl with the butter beans.
- In a food processor or blender, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, basil, green onion and lemon juice.
- Pour dressing into butter bean and corn mixture, 1/2 cup at a time until it is a consistency you prefer. Keep the extra for a salad. (I usually use 3/4 cup of the dressing.)
- Add salt and pepper to taste (the amount needed will depend on if your beans and corn were originally cooked with salt).
- Cook three pieces of bacon in a skillet until nicely crisped.
- Remove bacon and let cool, but keep bacon grease in the skillet.
- Cook 1 cup of thinly sliced okra in the bacon grease for about 5-6 minutes or until it's browned and not slimy anymore! Add some salt along the way.
- Chop up cooked bacon and toss with okra and tomatoes.
- Top the butter bean and corn salad with the okra/bacon/tomato mixture and serve as your vegetable side.
For more sides perfect for late summer meals, see the recipes listed below in “More Articles You’ll Love.”