I’m not going to lie. It was the purple flecks. That’s what got me to buy these beans, known as Dragon Tongue or Dragon Langerie. The beans’ beautiful dappled exterior makes them hard to ignore as they sit among monochromatic green and yellow beans on the market stand.
As I paid for a bag at the Pinecrest Farmers Market I thought of how pretty they would look on the plate when I served them at home. Except at the time I didn’t know cooking the beans would strip them of any shades of purple. That’s not to say they didn’t look nice on the plate in their yellow and greenish shades. They tasted great and that’s what counts, right?
I could’ve eaten all of them raw. Crunchy and slightly spicy, I tried a few before throwing the rest into boiling water from where I could clearly hear them snapping. Pop. Pop. Pop. Cooked, they’re just as good. They retain some of their crunch but lose a bit of the spice and become sweeter. Since I didn’t really know what to do with them, I tossed them with a simple vinegar, olive oil and chives vinaigrette, which worked well. Now I want to go back for more and try to prepare them in other ways.
For now, here’s a not-too-precise explanation of how I prepared my Dragon Tongue beans.
Dragon Tongue beans
Snap off the ends of the beans and wash. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook for 3-4 minutes. While the beans cook, fill a large bowl halfway with ice and cold water. When the beans are done, remove the pot from the heat, take out the beans with a slotted spoon and place them in the ice bath for about 3 minutes. Remove the beans from the ice water and lay out to dry on a paper towel or do like me and let them air dry in a colander.
For the vinaigrette, I mixed about 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar with salt, pepper, chopped chives and a dash of sugar. Then I slowly added about 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and whisked everything together. I did this very much to taste. Toss with the beans and serve.