Seasonal Beans/Peas - Shopping & Cooking

Fava Beans
Green Beans
Green Peas
Shelling Beans, Other
Sugar Snap Peas
Wax Beans

FAVA POD
& SHELLED BEANS
PEELED FAVA BEANS

Fava Beans

aka broad beans, butter bean, English beans, Windsor beans, horse beans, pigeon beans.

Actually in the pea family, favas must first be shelled from their large, fuzzy pods, briefly cooked (usually boiled for 3-5 mins), and then individually peeled.

Mash or puree and spread on crostinis, add to soups or risottos, or eat seasoned with cured meats and cheese.

Check out the SF Station article about fava beans.

Look for: Long, plump, fuzzy pods with firm beans inside.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag. Cooked, shelled beans can also be refrigerated for a few days in an airtight bag/container.

What's cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes


Green Beans

Green bean: aka string, snap, wax, filet, pole bean. French bean / Haricot verts: a skinnier variety of green bean, aka French green bean, haricot verts. Romano bean: a more broad, flat bean, aka Italian string bean.

Cook beans before eating (usually blanched).

Look for: Clean, tender, crisp, well-shaped, smooth beans. If ends are snipped, make sure ends are green, moist. Avoid white mold, mushy tips, dryness, shriveling. You shouldn't be able to see the shape of the beans in the pod.

Storage: Wash to add moisture and refrigerate in a plastic bag. Remove tips (and strings, if present) right before cooking.

What's cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes

  • Salad of green beans, grilled oyster mushrooms, cherry tomatoes & sherry vinaigrette -- Michael Wild at Baywolf
  • House smoked trout salad w/ string beans, cabernet vinaigrette & lemon caviar -- Bruce Hill at Bix
  • Vegetarian Oaxacan black mole stew w/ masa dumplings, chayote squash, carrots & green beans -- Dona Savitsky at Dona Tomas
  • Side of green beans w/ mint & vinaigrette -- Ria Ramsey & Sher Rogat at Pizzetta 211

Green Peas

aka English pea, garden pea, shell pea, fresh pea, sweet pea. Petits pois are smaller and more tender.

Eat right after picking, or soon after purchase. To shell, pop open the pod and pick out the peas.

Look for: Small peas with bright green, velvety pods that are crisp enough to snap. Avoid overgrown peas flattened against each other, and flat, dark green, wilted, or yellowed peas.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

What's Cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes

  • Lobster & pea dhosa (a thin, crispy pancake) w/ lemon beurre blanc & truffle oil –- Harveen Khera at Tallula
  • Fresh linguine, prosciutto, fresh peas, caramelized onions, cream & grana padano – Sante Salvoni at Slow Club
  • Local king salmon w/ sweet English pea risotto, mint & fried shallots -- Loretta Keller at Bizou
  • Ricotta dumplings with rock shrimp, rosemary, garlic & sweet pea purée -– Ross Browne at Absinthe

Shelling Beans

Images below.

There are many varieties; a few are pictured below. Fresh shell beans have a fresh, subtle flavor and more tender/creamy texture than dried beans.

Fresh, shelled beans are good in soups, stews, and casseroles, but also delicious simply boiled until tender, and served with a little butter or olive oil, salt/pepper or herbs.

Look for: Firm, brightly colored beans/pods. Avoid pods that are shriveled, dry, yellow or brown.

Storage: Refrigerate unshelled beans in a plastic bag. You can also freeze shelled beans in a double-layer plastic bag.

What's cooking:
Farm Recipes
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes

  • Giant lima beans oven baked in a ras el hanout tomato purée, covered in shaved french feta & tuscan olive oil -- Mourad Lahlou at Aziza
  • Wild salmon w/ corn, squash, cranberry beans & aioli -- Curt Clingman & Mary Jo Thoresen at Jojo
  • Crispy skatewing w/ turnips, soybeans, cashews, gewurztraminer-ginger butter – Stuart Brioza at Rubicon
  • Grilled leg of lamb w/ porcini mushrooms, fresh shell beans & green beans – Jean-Pierre Moulle & Kelsi Kerr at Chez Panisse

CANNELLINI
aka white kidney bean, white bean
traditional Italian bean
CRANBERRY
of pasta e fagioli fame
lose red after shelling/cooking
FLAGEOLET
removed from pod when very young
LIMA
pale green when young; creamy yellow when mature
SOY
aka edamame
TONGUE OF FIRE
similar to cranberry bean, but more vibrant color


Sugar Snap Peas

more info soon

What's Cooking:
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes
 
 


Wax Bean

aka gold wax bean, yellow wax bean. Same as green been aside from the color. (Lima beans, which are different, are sometimes called "wax beans".)

Cook beans before eating (usually blanched).

Look for: Clean, tender, crisp, well-shaped, smooth beans. If ends are snipped, make sure ends are moist. Avoid white mold, mushy tips, dryness, shriveling. You shouldn't be able to see the shape of the beans in the pod.

Storage: Wash to add moisture and refrigerate in a plastic bag. Remove tips (and strings, if present) right before cooking.

What's cooking:
Farm Recipes - Interchangeable with green beans
Gourmet/Bon Appetit Recipes

  • Japanese salad of green beans, yellow wax beans, julienned carrots, & creamy sesame dressing -- Delica-rf1
  • Pan seared black cod w/ blue lake & yellow wax beans, fennel-potato puree, heirloom tomato nage -- Stephen Barber at Mecca
  • Alaskan Halibut w/ sautéed haricot verts & yellow wax beans, oven-dried tomatoes, picholine olives & roasted garlic -- Traci Des Jardins at Jardiniere