It's impossible to grill tiny favas, but the sweet-starchy beans get a similar smoky flavor when they're charred quickly in a hot skillet. Jean-Georges Vongerichten tosses the charred beans with garlic, jalapeño, tarragon and cubes of cheese for a warm salad.
"The first time I tasted farro, it changed my life," says Melissa Kelly about the ancient grain that's rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates and magnesium. She's particularly fond of the nutty, chewy farro from Anson Mills, a Charleston-based company that's nationally famous for its grits.
For a crunchy, summery salad, Chris Cosentino tosses yellow wax beans, radish slivers, red onion slices, cannellini beans and fresh basil in a simple vinaigrette. To save time, you can also substitute canned cannellinis for the dried ones here.
"I cribbed this salad from my grandmother Nonna," Maria Helm Sinskey says. "She'd toss leftover beans with greens and lemon juice." This version has toasted croutons; the lemon juice is mixed into a refreshing dressing.
Green Bean-and-Tomato Salad with Tarragon Dressing
This supersimple bean-and-tomato salad, tossed with a tarragon-flavored dressing, is perfect for summertime picnics, like the kind Paul Virant's mother would prepare when he was a child. "She would make tomato salad, potato salad and fried chicken the night before, so we'd have everything ready the next day," he says.
Ken Oringer believes chefs need to make a point of eating healthy dishes when they can, so he includes protein-rich quinoa in his diet at least three times a week. Here he mixes the grain with black beans, onions and peppers to make a hearty and very satisfying side dish that's a fun variation on prosaic five-bean salad.
This simple and fresh-tasting salad, enlivened by salty olives and fresh cilantro, is a nice way to showcase fresh porotos (beans), a staple in the Huneeus household. The salad can be made with dried cannellini beans or, in a pinch, canned white beans.