Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pink Saturday - Cool beans

Pink Saturday - Beverly, at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the color pink inspire you.

A visit to the farmers market yielded some cool pink sights, perfect for Pink Saturday.

These are Tongue of Fire shelling beans on sale at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market. The pods are brilliantly streaked with magenta, and the beans inside are mottled with pink themselves.

They were on sale alongside other shelling beans, including French flageolet beans, red Italian beans, and a variety called Tigers Eye.

Shelling beans are meant to mature on the vine and remove from the shell for cooking. You can dry beans and they will keep for a long time, to be cooked later.  But you can also cook them fresh. I thought they were so pretty that I bought a selection of them.
Red Italian beans
Here you can see the red Italian beans peeking out of the shell. They say you should let the beans dry slightly on the vine before picking them for shelling, and these Italian bean pods were papery and starting to shrink.

Tigers Eye beans in the shell
Brought home and shelled, a bag of beans yielded enough for a bowl with a pretty variety of colors. Tongue of Fire were pale waxy greenish-white, with faint pinkish markings on some. The Tigers Eye were stunning - creamy white with maroon and even purple swirls. The red Italian beans were the prettiest shade of rose madder, with a darker eye. 
Red Italian beans
The Tongue of Fire and Tigers Eye pods were still a bit fresh. They probably could have stayed on the vine a little longer, and I think the markings on the beans intensify as they mature.

To cook shelling beans, boil them in lightly salted water for 25 or 30 minutes and then drain. You can toss in a handful of parsley and a smashed clove of garlic; if you have a sprig of thyme that might be nice, too. They are great tossed with vinaigrette and parsley and served in a salad with chopped fresh tomatoes. You can also toss them with tomatoes in pasta.

When cooked, alas, the pretty markings were gone. The Tigers Eye beans are large and tan, while the Tongue of Fire beans are kind of grey-green. The red Italian beans turn a pretty lavender.

They taste delicious - beany yet creamy and tender. Now I can't wait till next Wednesday to try another variety!

Pink beans for a Pink Saturday.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

They do look yummy. Reminds me it's time to go to the store!

Max Sartin said...

Beautiful pictures, I especially like the the second one, the beans have an incredible shine and are so colorful.

Anonymous said...

So pretty! I've never seen such colorful varieties of beans.
Happy Pink Saturday!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Simply beautiful!

Pink Fairy

gz said...

I'm not a fan of things Pink, but those are something else!!
(Hi- here via Gary's pottery blog)

Lala said...

I used to get a box every week from a local organic farm. I never knew what was going to be inside the box - lettuce greens, root vegetables, beans, sometimes even fruit! It was fun to look up what some of the items were, and how to cook them. I recognized the shelling beans in your picture as something I had wondered about - you're right - delicious!