I’ve always felt much love for butter beans. As a kid, I hated broccoli and brussels sprouts, but man, I would happily put away the limas.

Lately, it seems as if the little butter bean is showing up on more and more menus. The Fat Hen has a mean seared grouper with sautéed mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs that are poured on top of fresh, local butter beans to make a delicious soupy mess. I absolutely love this dish.

[image-1]Today, I ended up at Monza for lunch. I’ve had a copy of their menu sitting on my desk, and I’ve been pondering the butter bean salad for a while. With no description, I had to fill in the blanks. What could it be? The menu has two options: with tuna and with local white shrimp. Would the beans and tuna be mixed with greens? I couldn’t fathom. So when I was delivered a bowl full of just warm beans tossed with olive oil, chunks of cooked tuna, and some parsley, I was thrilled. It was a Tuscan bean salad — a pantry dinner staple at my house — with butter beans instead of cannellinis. Genius.

Perhaps the butter bean’s newfound prominence on these menus has something to do with the eat-local trend that’s been growing in popularity. Personally, I’m just glad to see veggies like the little old butter bean get top billing.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.