A basic method of par-cooking unripe, green Kentucky coffee beans. After cooking they can be held in brine or eaten as is as a snack. The beans the can also be peeled as for fava beans.
2 quart sauce pot or larger
2 oz Green Kentucky coffee beans, removed from the pod
Water as needed, about 2 quarts
Cover the beans with water to cover by 5 inches, bring the pot to a boil, turn the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Pour off the water, replace it with another batch of the same amount of hot water (I like to use a steam kettle to decrease the time it takes for it to come back to a boil), cover the pot, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the beans are tender enough that the skins can be chewed and no longer taste rubbery.
The skins will remain a bit al dente, but not in an unpleasant way. Rinse the cooked beans in cold water to remove any clinging mucilage (unshelled beans will also transfer mucilage to liquid if they sit in it.
From here the beans can be eaten as is, but I prefer to soak them in a light brine (see note) marinate in herb-infused oil, or well-seasoned tomato sauce, etc. They make an excellent antipasti, but can also be shelled and used as you would other legumes or simply with salt like edamame-my girlfriend's favorite.
With a paring knife, cut around the seam of the pods, entering about 1/4 inch into the pod with the knife, imagining how the blade will barely knick each bean as it slides through the pod. Wear gloves. You can also score the beans with a paring knife after shucking. Slicing open the beans before cooking helps you to peel them as you would endamame. Boil the beans until tender in a change of water (30 minutes of boiling total) then cool until warm, and eat, shucking the beans indivually, sprinkling with good flaky salt like Maldon or Faulk.
Brined Kentucky Coffee Beans
For a pint jar (small mouth) take 220 grams of cooked beans, still in their tender, inner shell (Generous 1.5 cups) put into a jar, then cover with 6 grams of kosher salt (1 tsp to make ~3% brine) 220 grams (generous cup) water, screw on the lid, shake, and refrigerate. The beans will keep for a couple weeks. Overtime, the beans will transfer mucilage to the liquid, to refresh them, discard the liquid, rinse the beans and agitate them for a few minutes in warm water, then rinse, put back in the jar, and cover with another batch of brine. I like to rinse them before I serve them, too.
Kentucky Coffee Beans in Herb Oil
For each 2 cups of cooked beans, take 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup flavorless cooking oil, combine and heat with a grated or smashed clove of garlic, a couple sprigs of thyme, or a small sprig of rosemary.Heat the oil in a pan until sizzling, then turn the heat off and cool. Add a pinch of chili flakes while it's still hot. When the oil is cool, combine with the beans, seasoning with a good pinch of salt. Refrigerate the beans in a shallow container or other dish. To serve, toss the beans to coat with the oil a few times, allowing them to come to room temperature before serving. They'll last for a week in the fridge.