In today’s Seasonal Pantry, I suggest a reliable short cut, canned beans, which are pretty good and can save a lot of time on a busy weeknight. The column includes three recipes, Pinto Bean Soup, Cannellini Bean Bruschetta, and Chickpea, Pasta & Tuna salad.
When you have more time, you’ll have even better results using either fresh or dried shell beans. Fresh shell beans, which have a very short season, should start showing up any day now at our farmers markets. Several local farmers also offer dried shell beans. Rancho Gordo, a small company based in Napa, has remarkable selection of nearly three dozen varieties of dried shell beans, along with other New World foods, including corn, grains, seeds, herbs and spice.