Market Report

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Joseph Gillard is the Executive Chef at Napa Valley Grille in Westwood.  He's buying shell beans at the market.

Shell Beans

Wild Alaskan Halibut with Shell Bean Stew
Serves 4

4 Alaskan halibut filets, 6 oz 
8 oz Shell beans, braised (separate recipe provided)
8 oz Heirloom peppers, sweet
8 oz Torpedo onion
8 oz Bean liquor, reserved
8 Lemon verbena leaves
1 oz Extra virgin olive oil, California Olive Ranch


Heat heavy bottom sauté pan over high heat. 

Season fish with sea salt, add olive to pan

Roast fish until a nicely browned crust forms, do not turn over

Place pan in pre heated 400° oven (all metal sauté pan, no plastic handles)


Shell Bean Stew:

Split peppers, remove seeds, cut into fat strips

Slice onion into ¼” rings

Add olive oil to pan, add lemon verbena leaves and toast

Add peppers and onions, sautéing until slightly tender and translucent

Add braised shell beans and bean liquor

Cook until stew lightly thickens


Shell Bean Braise

1 lb Shell beans, assorted varieties
1 Carrot
1 Leek, split and washed
1 Garlic clove, smashed
1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
1 Thyme sprig
1 Bay leaf, fresh

Shell all bean varieties, separating according to size

Wash and slice carrot 

Wash leek and tie with thyme and bay leaf

Sweat vegetables for several minutes over low heat

Start with the largest bean

Add cold water to cover

Simmer gently until al dente, adding beans in descending order of size to ensure even one pot cooking

When all beans are tender, remove from heat

Cool beans in cooking liquid, separate and save bean liquor for finished dish


Photo: David Karp

David Karp is a pomologist who writes for the LA Times.  He recently wrote about goji berries which farmer Harry Nicholas is selling on a second certificate at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.  Native to China and prized for their medicinal properties, goji berries are now being grown here in California.  Harry Nicholas is selling them for farmer Chuck Garrigus.