On my trip to the Santa Monica Farmers Market I was arrested by these beautiful shelling beans, the Tongue of Fire. They we beautifully displayed almost overflowing in baskets by the Fairview Gardens farmers. They grow more than one kind of bean, and have a range of information on them here.
I felt like I just wanted to run my hands through them and let them dribble out my fingers. Thankfully my hands were full and restrained! Aren't they inviting?
Now, these are definitely not dried beans, with which I have lots of familiarity and facility, but fresh. I had trouble remembering their name. They look like they should be the cranberry bean. At any rate, I snagged a pound or so (with a scoop) and brought them home.
Here's where my ignorance to their freshness set in. I left them in the bag for a couple of days and voila! they began to sprout a bit. So that night, while my summer lovin' family were craving burgers and I was not, I quickly transformed these beans into a plate of sheer delight.
First, a little bit of bacon in the pan, and then some chopped red scallions. Then I drained and cleaned the pan, added olive oil and let the cooked meat and onions continue. I added some chicken stock, some thyme from the garden and some red pepper flakes, then the beans.
I added a teaspoon of salt and let them simmer about 20 minutes. I later read here, that you shouldn't salt them while cooking because they become tough. I didn't notice a toughness, but they were a somewhat different texture than dried beans. Quite delightful.
Next time I'll wait to salt to see the difference.
But I won't wait to eat them. I may be in love.
Grab a spoon and join me?