Fresh shell beans are among the unsung joys of the late summer markets, and they deserve a spot at the table. Here are eight ways to take advantage of their all-too-short season.

September 08, 2014

Fresh shell beans are among the unsung joys of the late summer markets, and they deserve a spot at the table. Here are eight ways to take advantage of their all-too-short season.

1. Stew. Make easy vegetarian stews for cool nights by cooking the beans with fresh tomatoes or in an herb-infused liquid. Or combine them with corn and squash, a Native American combination known as “three sisters.”   

2. Chili. Use the fresh beans in a summery version of chili

3. Soup. Make any vegetable soup heartier by adding shell beans

4. Gratins. Add them to a buttery gravy, cover them with crispy bread crumbs and bake until bubbling

5. Salad. Dress the beans in a vinaigrette, add lots of herbs and season them well for delicious room-temperature salads.  

6. Succotash. Make this late-summer Southern side dish with corn, okra, tomatoes and bacon, adding shell beans in place of peas. 

7. Stuffed Vegetables. For a hearty vegetarian main course, fill tomatoes or peppers with a stewy bean mixture. 

8. Puree. Blend the cooked beans with garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to make an easy dip or spread. Add tahini and call it hummus. 

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: 26 Delicious Bean Recipes
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20 Fantastic Salads

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