Even though it's verging on too late for most of us, I can't end the summer without talking about fresh shelling beans.
I found a gigantic pile of these mottled beans at the farmer's market a few weeks ago. I like dried beans well enough; fresh ones are nothing short of sensational. Clearly, they had to come home with me. However, I didn't know what kind of beans I'd get until I opened them. Behold: fresh black-eyed peas!
What can you do with fresh shelling beans? Well. The easiest cooking method is a simple boil. Then you can eat your beans simply with butter, salt, and maybe a little lemon. You can toss them in a vinaigrette and serve them over a bed of salad greens, with additional salad components if desired. Or you can mix them with your vegetable of choice, as, for instance, in a shelling bean and tomato salad. You could even make them into a shelling bean gratin. The world is clearly your plaything.
I decided to use my beans in a big pasta mess.
Soften garlic and/or onion in olive oil; add chopped tomato, raw shelled beans, and maybe a splash of broth or dry vermouth. When beans are about halfway cooked, add a bunch of chopped sweet peppers and spice the whole business with salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flake, and whatever else sounds good. Cook until done to your liking, adding liquid to deglaze as needed. Mix with cooked pasta and eat with a squeeze of lemon. Hooray!