You can use a favorite vinaigrette (about 1/4 cup, 60 ml) and perhaps include a chopped shallot to mix with the warm beans, too. A handful of fresh herbs is delightful, but I wait until the beans are cool to add them so they don’t lose their oomph. I enjoy them often tossed with good summer tomatoes and lots of fresh basil, or basil vinaigrette, which is pretty much my favorite summer salad.
3 quarts (3l) of very lightly salted water
1 pound (450g) shelling beans, shucked
optional: a bay leaf, or a few branches of thyme or savory
1. In a large covered saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
2. Add the beans and any of the optional herbs.
3. Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 20-305 minutes with the lid ajar, until the beans are tender. But be careful not to overcook them. You may need to add more water while they’re cooking.
4. Drain the beans, then toss with while warm with vinaigrette, olive oil, or a drizzle of walnut or hazelnut oil and sea salt.
To serve, add a handful of fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, or basil. Toss well, and mix with tomatoes or par-boiled green or yellow beans.