“Edamame” sounds exotic, and it means beans on branches. The pods grow in clusters on bushy branches. Edamame are green soybeans, harvested before they begin to dry and harden. They are blanched and frozen and are now available year-round in many grocery freezers. For a simple snack, boil the pods in salted water, sprinkle with some sea salt, then pinch the pod to pop the peas into your mouth. The beans can be used in soups, stir-fries, or as a vegetable dish. This innovative recipe from Hiroko Shimbo uses the beans to make a very pretty dip to eat as a snack or an appetizer.