Ham Bean Wrap Sandwiches

When skins have thinned and their color turns from green to yellowish-brown, it’s time to harvest and shell beans. By then the beans sound like mini maracas, waving in the wind.
Shelling is a labor intensive process. I twist to break the tip of the bean and pull down, pulling the threadlike bean “seam” with the tip. Once the seam is removed, the bean easily splits down the middle. I use my thumb to release 6-8 beans into my bowl. I toss the tip, thread, and shell in a bucket to compost and pick up another bean.

Beans can be blanched then used fresh, canned, dried, or frozen. In my opinion canning beans adds unnecessary salt and damages flavor. I prefer to use fresh but I dry-store plenty of beans and cowpeas for fall, winter and early spring cookery.
Here is one of my favorite recipes calling for fresh beans:

Ham Bean Wrap Sandwiches

2 cups fresh shelled beans
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup brown mustard
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup half & half
8 oz diced ham
4 oz sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups sprouts
4 large wraps

1. Blanch beans in boiling water. Halt cooking with ice bath. Drain and rinse.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, mayo and half & half.
3. In a large bowl, combine beans, ham, tomatoes and onions and sprouts. Stir to combine.
4. Distribute filling evenly among wraps, roll burrito style.

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