I came home from the Tuesday farmers market with fresh red beans. Frankly, I had never cooked fresh red beans and guessed they would cook quicker than dried beans which, of course, they do. I seasoned them as I would the dried but without sausage or ham because I didn’t have that on hand.

Since it’s so hot, I decided to serve these as a salad instead of on rice. I made up a good cucumber, tomato and red onion relish to serve over the beans. The dressing in the relish had just a hint of sweetness, which blended well.

Were the fresh beans that different? Maybe they were a little milder tasting. Without using ham or sausage, you tasted the flavor of the bean rather than smokiness of the meat.Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.