Shell Bean Recipes



  • 3 medium ears fresh corn
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
  • ¼ tsp salt-packed
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh parsley leaves

Cut kernels from cobs and scrape cobs with back of knife. Melt butter until foaming subsides. Saute onion until soft, stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in remaining ingredients except parsley, cook about five minutes, then stir in parsley and serve.

Minestrone (I think this one was from Martha Rose Shulman’s Mediterranean Light cookbook)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 large or 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, choppedSalt
  • 1/2 small head green or savoy cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed2 quarts water or chicken broth
  • 2 boiling potatoes, diced1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, with liquid, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 (2 1/2 x1 1/2-inch) piece Parmesan rind
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • Few sprigs each thyme and parsley
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini or Great Northern beans (soak overnight, then cook in water for about two hours)
  • 1/4 pound Swiss chard, stemmed, washed well and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pasta, such as elbow macaroni, small shells or broken spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 pound fresh shelled beans (Borlotto is the classic variety)
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until they begin to soften. Add the leeks. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender and translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and a generous pinch of salt, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and the garlic, add a little more salt, and cook until the cabbage has wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the water, potatoes, canned tomatoes with liquid and oregano. Bring to a boil. Tie the Parmesan rind, bay leaf, thyme and parsley sprigs together with kitchen string, or tie in cheesecloth, and add to the pot. Add salt to taste (at least 2 teaspoons), reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Stir the cooked beans into the soup, then add the greens and the pasta. Five minutes later, add the peas, shell and green beans. Simmer until the pasta is cooked al dente, about five minutes more. Remove the Parmesan rind bundle, stir in the chopped parsley and remove from the heat. Serve in wide soup bowls, with a tablespoon of Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

Bahgali Polo

  • 2 ½ pounds basmati white rice
  • 10 ounces fresh shell beans (favas are commonly used)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons dried dill weed, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 pint plain yogurt

Thoroughly rinse rice and transfer to a large bowl. Pour enough water over the rice to cover by a few inches and soak for 1 hour; drain. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Cook beans in boiling water until tender, 7 to 10 minutes; drain. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and rice to the boiling water and cook until rice is partially softened, about 11 minutes; drain. Season lamb with cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir lamb in melted butter until completely browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer lamb to a bowl. Cook and stir onion in skillet until translucent, about 7 minutes. Return lamb to skillet; add dill and cooked shell beans. Remove skillet from heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon hot water. Spoon about 1/3 the partially cooked rice into the saucepan. Layer about half the lamb mixture over the rice layer. Repeat layering 1/2 the remaining rice, the remaining lamb mixture, and finishing with the remaining rice. Cut the remaining 3 tablespoons butter into cubes and arrange atop the top rice layer. Place a cover on the saucepan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the rice is completely tender, about 30 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes before serving with yogurt.

Fresh Shell Beans with Buttered Crumbs and Rosemary (from Mariquita Farms)

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, packed firmly
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds shelling beans, fresh out of their shell
  • 2 tsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice

Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until they are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl. Blend parsley and rosemary together, then combine with the crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Steam the beans until just tender. Remove to a warm plate and stir in the melted butter and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and serve.

Fresh Shell Bean & Basil Soup (from Mariquita Farms)

  • 6 slices chewy, country-style bread
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups fresh shelled beans
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ pound pencil-thin French haricot vert beans, cut into 2″ lengths (optional)
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes Remove from oven and drizzle with olive oil. Return to oven and bake for another 5-10 mins. until toasts are firm and lightly golden. Remove and let cool, then rub both sides of each toast with a garlic clove. Set aside. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the garlic and onion; cook, stirring for a minute or two, until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken broth, beans, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Taste for salt, adding more is needed. Remove the bay leaf. Remove 1 c. of the beans, puree in a processor or blender, then return them to pot. Add the optional haricot vert and simmer for a few moments, until the haricot vert are just tender. While the beans are cooking, puree the basil and olive oil. Set aside. Place a toast in the bottom of each soup bowl, then ladle in the soup. Add a teaspoon of the basil sauce to each, giving half a stir with the spoon to make a swirl.

Pasta with Fresh Shelling Beans and Broccoli (from Mariquita Farms)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds loosely chopped tomatoes or 3 ½ cups canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds shelling beans, shelled and lightly steamed til tender/firm
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 8 ounces orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta; about 2 cups) or medium pasta shells
  • 1 pound broccoli crowns, separated into small florets (about 5 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with juices and 1/4 cup water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; boil gently until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in beans and basil. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook orecchiette pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add broccoli florets; cook until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite and broccoli florets are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes longer. Ladle out 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain orecchiette and broccoli florets; return to pot. Add tomatoes and reserved pasta cooking water to pasta and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Pasta Salad with Summer Beans and Herbs (from Williams Sonoma Salad of the Day)

  • 3/4 lb. fusilli pasta
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. assorted snap beans, such as green beans, yellow wax beans and haricots verts, stem ends trimmed
  • 2 lb. fresh shelling beans of choice, shelled
  • 5 Tbs. red wine vinegar2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and boil until al dente. Using a strainer, scoop out the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately add 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and toss well. Cover and refrigerate to cool. Return the water to a boil. Add the snap beans and boil until tender, 5 to 6 minutes (3 to 4 minutes for haricots verts). Scoop out with the strainer and rinse under cold water to halt the cooking. Add the beans to the pasta in the refrigerator. Return the water to a boil. Add the shelling beans and boil until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Scoop out, rinse and add to the pasta and snap beans. Let cool completely in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Whisk the remaining 5 Tbs. olive oil, vinegar and garlic in a large bowl. Pour over the pasta and beans and add the parsley, mint and oregano. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Fresh Shell Bean and Sage Spread

  • 1 pound fresh shell beans (about 2 cups shelled)
  • 1 fresh sage leaf, plus
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Lemon juice to taste (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove beans from pods. Place in a saucepan with sage leaf, thyme sprig, and enough water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender and able to be mashed with a fork, about 40 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking water and discarding the herbs. Return beans to the saucepan or a bowl, add olive oil and 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and coarsely mash with a fork or potato masher. Add chopped sage, onions, and garlic and continue to mash until combined. If necessary, add more cooking water or olive oil to reach desired consistency. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread on bread, celery sticks or sliced cucumbers or thin with more water/oil to the right consistency for a dip.

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