At my local Farmers Market last weekend, Nettles Farm (Lummi Island) had three varieties of beans available–green beans, wax beans, and my favorite Dragon’s Tongue beans. Wax beans are like green beans, but the pod is a pale yellow color. Dragon’s Tongue beans have yellow-green pods with dark maroon patches all over (see a few beside the bowl in the photo on this page). They’re quite lovely!
Dragon’s Tongue beans lose their maroon patches when cooked, and the yellow-green color also lightens to become more yellow. They’re especially tender and don’t keep very long after picking, so plan to eat them within a day or two after purchase. Their flavor is remarkable.
Ripe fresh beans should break with a crisp snap. That’s why they are also often called “snap beans.” Limp beans may benefit from soaking for a few minutes in ice water.
Beans are nutritional powerhouses. They are an excellent source of vitamin K, important for bone health. One cup of green beans contains 122% of an adult’s vitamin K needs. They also have substantial amounts of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. They include lesser amounts of other important nutrients, too, such as magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin.
If you buy extra beans now, you can parboil and freeze them for use throughout the winter. Pick your own beans at a local u-pick farm to save money.
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready In:
30 min plus 1 day to marinate
- 1 lb mixed green beans(Nettles Farm, Lummi Island)
- 3 Tbsp butter (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped (friend’s garden, Lummi Island)
- 1 clove green garlic (Rabbit Fields Farm, Everson)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (Bellewood Acres, Lynden)
- 2 Tbsp honey (Guilmette’s Busy Bees, Bellingham)
- 2 Tbsp basil, finely chopped (Nettles Farm, Lummi Island)
- 1/2 tsp. salt (see Exceptions)
Trim the tips off both ends of the beans and discard. Snap the beans into 1 to 1-1/2 inch bite-sized pieces.
Steam the beans over boiling water until just tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the chopped onion for about 3 minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic and saute another minute.
Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and stir. Pour over the hot beans and mix well.
Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. May be served cold or reheated.
Community Food Co-operative, Westerly and Cordata, Bellingham
Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham