Some may tell you yellow wax beans taste just like green beans—heresy! Their unique grassy flavor is one of summer's distinct delights. Plus, these translucent, supersmooth pods need no stringing. In our salad (next page), their flavor is mild but doesn't disappear against peppery radishes, pungent blue cheese, salty bacon, or tangy buttermilk dressing.

These beans are at their peak from midsummer through early September. Choose firm, uniformly yellow pods with small beans inside—bulging beans are too mature and will be tough.


Here is a salad that will hold, creamy buttermilk dressing and all, for several hours, so it's a great make-ahead or take-to-picnic dish. Just sprinkle the blue cheese and bacon on right before serving.

¼ cup low-fat buttermilk¼ cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard¼ teaspoon kosher salt8 cups water1 pound fresh yellow wax beans1 cup thinly sliced radishes1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1 ounce crumbled blue cheese (about ¼ cup)¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper3 center-cut bacon slices, cooked, drained, and crumbled

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add wax beans; cook 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge into ice water; drain. Combine beans, radishes, and oil in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place bean mixture on a serving platter; drizzle with buttermilk dressing. Top with cheese, pepper, and bacon.

SERVES 6 (serving size: about 1 cup bean mixture and 1½ tablespoons dressing)CALORIES 89; FAT 4.9g (sat 1.6g, mono 2g, poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 5g; CARB 8g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 8mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 244mg; CALC 76mg