Updated: Jun 17, 2020
There is no actual difference between what we called up north, Lima Beans, and what southerners call Butter Beans but any southerner who prides themselves with artful cookery will beg to differ. And they do this in the most delightful way. Usually, starting with "bless your heart," which is the catch phrase for "you are about to be schooled". They have it right in naming them butter beans; fresh butter beans are rich and flavorful. And right now they are in abundance in all the farmer's markets I frequent weekly.
Any southern cook will tell you their way to cook butter beans is the best. I've experimented and the simpler the better for me. While Savannah food maven Paula Deen will add in ham hocks or bacon. Tricia Yearwood's recipe was the simplest and my version is similar to hers.
I sauteed my beans in a cup of water, with some salt and pepper, until the water dissolved.
Then stir in some butter. It's that simple. And boy oh boy were they good. Still firm and full of flavor. Bless your heart, they're yummy.