Those dried beans in your pantry started out as shell beans. But during their brief season, you can buy those same beans fresh in their pods. The fresh beans have an incomparably creamy texture, don’t need to be soaked before cooking, and cook more quickly. One of the most widely available shell beans are cranberry beans, identifiable by their pink-and-cream mottled pods. Edamame and lima beans are other varieties that you may be most familiar with in their frozen forms, but are worth seeking out fresh. Also keep your eyes open for heirloom varieties of shell beans, including scarlet runner, Jacob’s Cattle, Ojo de Cabra (Goat's Eye), and Black Calypso.
Peter Piper probably wished he'd picked a peck of these pickled prawns instead of peppers. The poached shrimp are coated in a
light vinaigrette, and then tossed with fennel, red onions, and butter
beans, creating a twister on the tongue in taste and texture.
Butter beans, or small lima beans, are fresh in the summer. You can freeze them to use all
winter, but frozen small limas may be used as well. Any extra vinaigrette can be stored in an
airtight container and refrigerated for another use. Fresh butter beans will cook for 25 to 30
minutes--much longer than frozen lima beans.