Latin Twist: Lima Bean, Peruvian Olive, and Roasted Garlic Salsa


It’s not just because these beans are named after Lima, Peru that I like them. No, my friends, the buttery flavor of lima beans caught my attention before I knew that. And so, mis queridos amigos, I’m inaugurating a springtime series on salsas! Versatile, bright, and always tasty, salsas—as you know from my previous entries—can add so much to the start, middle, and end of a meal! This, my Lima Bean, Peruvian Olive, and Roasted Garlic Salsa, is no exception.

Lima Bean, Peruvian Olive and Roasted Garlic Salsa is adapted from one of the recipes in Nueva Salsa, I book I collaborated on with the wonderful chef/Restaurateur Rafael Palomino.LIma bean Salsa close up

Photo by Miki Duisterhof for Nueva Salsa, Palomino and Gargagliano, Chronicle Books, 2003

Latin Twist: Lima Bean, Peruvian Olive, and Roasted Garlic Salsa

Yield: About 1 1 /2 cups

Perfect on top of your favorite crusty bread, fresh pasta, or even a bed of greens, this salsita is a winner!


  • 1 cup cooked lima beans
  • 1/2 roasted bell pepper, peeled, seeded, and julienned
  • 1 roasted clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Peruvian (or kalamata) olives, pitted
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, bell pepper, garlic, and olives.
  2. Gently stir just until blended.
  3. Add the pepper, and let sit for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the cilantro and serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  5. Return to room temperature and stir in the cilantro just before serving.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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