Bryant Terry's Warm Butter Bean Salad with Roasted Bell Peppers Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Food52



6 Ratings

  • Prep time 8 hours
  • Cook time 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Makes 4
Author Notes

wilted arugula • pili pili oil • lemon juice

Smoky roasted peppers provide a bright contrast to the delicate, buttery flavor of big lima beans in this dish. The pili pili oil adds the subtlest kick—you’ll notice it, but it doesn’t overpower. Peppery arugula adds freshness, and a squeeze of lemon brightens everything. I created this recipe for a collaboration with Williams-Sonoma in 2019. My family had a Father’s Day cookout with some friends (hi, Maisha, David, and Naya) that was shot by my buddy photographer Erin Scott, and Williams-Sonoma featured the images in their catalog, on their blog, and across their social media platforms. That was a meaningful partnership, since Father’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year. While I’m appreciative of gifts, Father’s Day is about expressing gratitude to my family for the love they show me every single day. When I was working on this book, I spent more than a year testing recipes and writing almost every weekend (and a lot of holidays). My wife and daughters supported me wholeheartedly throughout that process. On Father’s Day weekend, I celebrate them for the privilege of being a husband and Baba.

Song: “Golden Lady” by Stevie Wonder from Innervisions and “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder from Songs in the Key of Life

Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by the Bryant Terry, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. —Food52

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 1 pounddried large white lima beans, soaked in water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large yellow onion: half diced, half left intact
  • 5 garlic cloves: 3 cut in half, 2 minced
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 1 1/2 teaspoonsteaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 2 large yellow bell peppers
  • 2 large orange bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoonsextra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoonsPili Pili Oil (recipe follows), plus more for drizzling
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 8 ouncesbaby arugula (about 12 loosely packed cups), washed and spun dry
  • 1 1 lemon, halved, for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt, for finishing
  • Pili Pili Oil
  • 2 teaspoonssmoked paprika
  • 2 (2-inch) thyme sprigs
  • 2 (2-inch) rosemary sprigs
  • 2 small fresh bird’s-eye or Thai chiles
  • 1 cupolive oil
  1. Drain the beans, put them into a large saucepan, and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam and decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the bay leaf, onion half, halved garlic cloves, and dried chile. Partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until just tender, adding water as needed to keep the beans covered, 1 to 11/2 hours (the cooking time will greatly depend on the freshness of the beans). Once the beans are just tender, add 1 teaspoon of the salt and simmer for 10 more minutes. Drain the beans. Remove the bay leaf, onion, garlic, and chile and discard them. Set the beans aside.
  2. While the beans are cooking, roast the bell peppers using one of the methods below. Seed and thinly slice the bell peppers. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until it smells fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lima beans, bell peppers, and pili pili oil to the pan. Raise the heat to high and cook for 1 minute, gently stirring to combine and warm the ingredients through. Turn off the heat and season aggressively with white pepper. Taste and season with salt. Divide the lima bean mixture evenly among four plates.
  4. Add the arugula and 2 tablespoons water to the same pan. Set the pan over low heat, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the arugula wilts.
  5. Place a handful of arugula over each serving, then drizzle with more pili pili oil and a squeeze of lemon. Finish with a sprinkle of flaky salt and serve.
  6. Roasting peppers: There are a few methods for roasting peppers. I prefer placing them directly over a burner on a gas stove and turning them with tongs until the skin is blackened and blistered all over. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of first learning this procedure in culinary school, but the process is fulfilling. If you have an electric stove, you’ll need to use the broiler or grill to achieve the same outcome—just be sure to turn them occasionally to char the skin on all sides. After they are properly charred, the peppers are placed in a heatproof container and covered for 15 minutes, until they have cooled and their skins have loosened up. Peel off the charred skin (avoiding washing the peppers or you will lose some of the flavor), then cut off the stem end, remove the core and seeds, and cut the flesh of the peppers into strips or as directed in the recipe. If you’re not using the roasted peppers immediately after prepping them, simply place them in a bowl, toss with olive oil, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  1. Pili Pili Oil
  2. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the olive oil starts to sizzle and the paprika has completely dissolved. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Transfer all the ingredients to a small jar or bottle, seal, and refrigerate for a few days before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


  • Salad
  • African
  • American
  • Bean
  • Bell Pepper
  • Vegan
  • Entree
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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6 Reviews

Abby S. January 20, 2022

This was tasty! We charred two peppers and used a jar of roasted peppers for the rest. The pili pili oil was delicious too. This recipe makes a lot of beans, and after eating the salad for a few nights my husband had the brilliant idea to put the remainder in the food processor with the pili pili oil and a squeeze of lemon (minus the arugula). It turned into a delicious white bean-roasted pepper dip!

Karen April 10, 2021

This looks delicious, and I plan to try the recipe. But, um, one small quibble: these aren't butter beans. Butter beans are grown a lot in the Southern United States and are very different from large dried limas.

LuluB March 21, 2022

You need to educate yourself. A quick Google would show you to be absolutely incorrect. 2 names for the exact same species of bean, which by the way, can be grown any where in the world.

Cheryl September 5, 2020

This was good. I cooked the beans just a little too long and would have enjoyed them less mushy. I added rosemary and thyme twigs to the beans and l liked the flavor. I used 2 additional roasted peppers and that was great. I broiled them in the oven to char before taking off skin. I think next time I would not wilt arugula and instead serve the beans on a bed of fresh arugula drizzled with the oil and a squirt of lemon. Flaky salt on top of the beans. It made a lot! Thank you!

June 3, 2020

Hey, this was AWESOME. Totally worth the planning it takes to have the pili pili oil & dry beans ready. I halved the recipe to try it for just myself before making it for my family or a party or anything, and it was great two days in a row (I fridged the beans and peppers and warmed them up with fresh greens & a new drizzle of pili pili oil). It's a sweet-and-smoky flavor profile that we vegetarians don't get treated to often. If you're wondering if it's worth the time commitment, the answer is yes.

Lauren K. March 4, 2020

I took a few dramatically lazy shortcuts on the recipe as written (I'm sorry, I know it's annoying when people do this!) but can confirm that even with modifications, this is a winner! I made it two days ago to go with fish, and have been using up the leftovers + feta as a salad topper and might even toss with a little pasta for supper tonight.

Bryant Terry's Warm Butter Bean Salad with Roasted Bell Peppers Recipe on Food52 (2024)


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