If you are lucky enough to spy fresh pulses, like these gorgeous cranberry beans, in your farmers market, snatch them up! About the only other way you can find this delicacy is to grow it yourself! Most of us enjoy pulses (beans, peas, lentils) in their dried form, but you can also harvest them and eat them before they are dried—fresh out of their shell. They retain a fresh, crunchy taste and color, and nutrient-packed, protein-rich profile. I spied these fresh cranberry beans at my local farmers market, and the farmer was happy to split open the pretty, mottled pink and white shells to show me those white and pink gems inside. My mother always grew fresh beans in her vegetable garden, and now I grow them in mine too. I love watching the vines trail up the side of my garden, with the beans hanging down like earrings among the green leaves.
My favorite way to serve fresh beans is sautéed with pasta, as in this dish. You can get this recipe for Fresh Cranberry Beans with Pasta and Greens on the table in 30 minutes, too. With only 8 ingredients (not including pantry staples), this is an easy, rustic, one-dish meal. If you want to fill in your menu, just serve it with a side of crusty, whole grain bread, and a bowl of vegetable soup to make it more complete.
This recipe is 100% plant-based (vegan) and packed with nutrients, thanks to the pasta, greens, and beans. Many Italian pasta dishes call upon this simple trio of ingredients to make up rustic, nutritious, delicious dishes that are naturally plant-based. With the addition of tomatoes, onions, garlic, lemon and basil, the dish really sings with flavor, nutrition, and aroma. It is also delicious the next day warmed up for lunch—or even served cold as a pasta salad.