Look for cranberry beans or other varieties, such as fresh butter beans, sold in the pod at farmers markets. Some growers sell them already shelled. Unlike their dried cousins, fresh shell beans need only about 30 minutes to become tender and creamy.
Make Ahead: The beans can be cooked several hours in advance. Reserve/cool them in their cooking liquid and reheat (low) before completing the dish.
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh shell beans, such as cranberry beans, shelled (2 generous cups)
- 4 cups water
- 4 whole cloves garlic, plus 1 clove, minced
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Put the shelled beans in a small pot, cover with the 4 cups of water and add the whole garlic cloves, a generous pinch of salt and the oil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low; partially cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Check to see whether the beans are soft, tender and creamy throughout; if necessary, uncover and cook them a bit longer (5 to 8 minutes).
To serve, drain the beans and transfer them to a serving bowl, reserving the cooking liquid for another use (such as soup). Sprinkle the rosemary, parsley, lemon zest and minced garlic over the beans. Drizzle with oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from "One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal," by David Tanis (Artisan, 2013).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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