Fresh beans! Let's eat them in a gigantic hot salad!
Cranberry bean salad
fresh cranberry beans
First, put a pot of water on to boil. While it's getting hot, shell a bunch of cranberry beans. I didn't take any pictures of the beans in their shells because I was having too much fun popping them out of said shells. I ended up with about a cup and a quarter of lovely stripey beans.
When the water has come to a boil, add the beans to the pot. Bring the water back to a boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about half an hour, or until your beans are tender. Fresh beans take so much less time than dried!
You'll also notice that when cooked the beans lose their pink stripes. That's ok; we're going to add a whole bunch of other brightly colored food to liven things up.
When the beans are closing in on done, bust out a decent frying pan and soften some minced garlic in olive oil. I used a lot of garlic, maybe eight or ten cloves, since we STILL have no spice cabinet. Soften the garlic slowly over medium-low heat.
When the beans are done, drain them and set them aside for a minute.
Check out your garlic. Is it getting soft? Then chop and add half a red pepper, or a whole one if you want. Stir things around and let the pepper soften up. Orange or yellow pepper would clearly work as well; I just like red the best.
When the pepper and garlic are soft, add your drained beans to the pan. Stir everything up well, so the garlicky oil gets all over the beans. Then cook everything together for five minutes or so, to give the oil a chance to absorb into the beans.
At the same time, wash and chop as much fresh flatleaf parsley as you can stand. Half a bunch of parsley is good. Since we aren't adding any other spicing elements, we have to make sure the garlic and parsley are dominant. The more parsley, the better. That said, if you have no parsley, you can also use other greens: lots of chopped spinach or spicy arugula would be good.
When everything is looking good, dump your parsley into the pan of beans and garlic. Stir everything up for a minute or two, letting the parsley start to wilt. Salt and pepper if you feel the need. Then whip the pan off the heat, scoop your beans onto a plate, and eat.
I ate mine as dinner. However, this stuff would be perfect to pile on tiny, toasty pieces of good bread and eat with glasses of red wine and dishes of olives.