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Baby beans

September 3, 2013

I like buying produce at the farm gate. Most times it has been freshly picked  and chances are you’re talking to the person who grew it.

I visit a grower not far from St Leonards on the Bellarine Peninsula. I love the quality of the produce. The capsicums are firm and have a crunch – not like some you buy that might look OK in the store but miraculously develop soft spots on the trip home.

On my latest visit I saw he had a small box of flat little beans, some a creamy colour, other dotted with deep pink spots. He said they were butter beans and were the first of the crop, picked the previous day. In fact he’d had some for dinner that night and had cooked them up with a little oil, onions and tomatoes.

I decided to try some and they were quite immature pods with little going on inside at that stage – a bit like the bean version of snow peas. No doubt they grow into the more familiar cannellini beans or something similar. I’ll have to ask about that next time I visit.

Primarily, I wanted to check out their flavour so I merely blanched them in boiling water after topping, tailing and rinsing them. Sweet and subtle and a lovely side dish for a roast lamb meal which also included roast parsnips from the same farm.

I forgot to take photos of the cooked beans, but here they are, fresh from the farm, along with some fine firm capsicums.

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