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Pasta Salad with Summer Beans and Herbs

Fresh shelling beans thrive in the late summer months, before the pods begin to show signs of drying. Because most varieties, such as kidney, cannellini, scarlet runner, lima, cranberry and black-eyed peas, are used dried, few cooks realize the distinctive qualities they add when included fresh in summer dishes. Select any type you like for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste
  • 3/4 lb. fusilli pasta
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. assorted snap beans, such as green beans, yellow wax
      beans and haricots verts, stem ends trimmed
  • 2 lb. fresh shelling beans of choice, shelled
  • 5 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and boil until al dente, according to the package instructions. Using a strainer, scoop out the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately add 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and toss well. Cover and refrigerate to cool.

Return the water to a boil. Add the snap beans and boil until tender, 5 to 6 minutes (3 to 4 minutes for haricots verts). Scoop out with the strainer and rinse under cold water to halt the cooking. Add the beans to the pasta in the refrigerator.

Return the water to a boil. Add the shelling beans and boil until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Scoop out, rinse and add to the pasta and snap beans. Let cool completely in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 Tbs. olive oil, the vinegar and garlic. Pour over the pasta and beans and add the parsley, mint and oregano. Toss together well. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2012).