Lima beans are only in season for a few more weeks, and this ham and blue cheese pizza is THE recipe you should make before they're all gone for the year. Trust me.
I must admit that it took me about 35 years to truly appreciate these big, buttery-tasting beans. Sure, all the picnic and cookout spreads of my childhood included at least one CorningWare dish of succotash. But the limas in those dishes came from frozen-and-thawed veggie medleys. It wasn't until a friend gave me a bag of blanched and frozen fresh lima beans in the middle of winter that I understood the hype. When cooked right, they're creamy in the center with taut skin and a delicate, bright green flavor. (Not wrinkly and bland like the ones I remembered.)
For this blue cheese and ham pizza, I blanched fresh limas in boiling water for 4 minutes, just until they softened. Then I tossed them with caramelized onion, spread the mixture on my dough round, and topped it with ham and blue cheese. The beans browned just a bit on top, which contrasted nicely with their creamy insides.
That being said, don't be discouraged if you can't find fresh lima beans. Frozen limas are already blanched, saving you a step, and time in the hot oven will intensify their flavor and keep them from getting soggy.
Lima Bean, Ham, and Blue Cheese Pizza
- 1 cup shelled fresh lima beans (or frozen limas, thawed)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14 to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 1 cup chopped cooked ham
- 4 to 6 ounces blue cheese crumbled
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the oven before you start preheating).
- If you are using fresh lima beans, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the limas, blanch for 4 minutes, then immediately drain them in a colander in the sink. Run cold water over the limas to stop the cooking and lock in their bright green color. (If you're using thawed frozen limas, you can skip this step.)
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a small pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion just begins to caramelize, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the lima beans. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled baking sheet or a floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Top the dough with the onion-lima mixture, spreading it out evenly, and use any remaining butter in the skillet to brush the edges of the dough. Scatter the ham and blue cheese over the onion-lima mixture.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Take the pizza out of the oven and sprinkle with parsley. Slice and serve.