Ideally, the lima beans used in this recipe should be fresh ones, but because they are generally unavailable, I use the frozen kind. Cooked with lettuce, scallions, and herbs, even frozen lima beans make one of the most refreshing of all vegetable dishes.
Take the lima beans out of the freezer 1 hour in advance. Boil the water in a pot and add the lima beans, lettuce, scallions or chives, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes over a moderate flame. Check the salt and pepper.
Place the beans in a serving bowl. (There should not be any liquid left, but 1 f there is, just leave it in the pot.) Add the olive oil and the basil and/or mint and serve.
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