Contributed by Terra Brockman, Director of the Land Connection Foundation
3 cups shelled fresh beans (try to find Vermont Cranberry, Borlotto, Montezuma Red, or Tongue of Fire)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Savory or thyme sprigs and/or bay leaf.
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine beans, optional herbs, olive oil and cold water to cover. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to very low. Cover and cook until beans are tender. Small beans may take 15 minutes, while larger ones may take 30 minutes.
3. When beans are tender, add salt and other seasonings. Uncover and allow to cool in liquid. Remove herb sprigs or bay leaf before serving.
You can eat the basic beans as they are, or dress them up in one of these ways:
* Cook minced shallots in olive oil and add to the drained beans with minced fresh herbs of your choice.
* For a warm bean salad, drain beans and toss with olive oil or nut oil, lemon juice, and minced parsley and scallion greens, then serve at room temperature.
* Make a "Three Sisters Stew" by gently cooking chopped onions and small chunks of a quick-cooking squash such as Red Kuri or Kabocha. Add to the drained beans. Then add two to three cups cooked corn kernels and mix onions, squash, and corn into beans.