Monday, July 28, 2008

Heirloom Beans

Last year I saved the seed from some heirloom tomatoes and goose beans given to me by my great-aunt Ada Ruth. In April I started the seeds indoors and in May moved them to an outdoor cold frame. Toward the end of May they were transplanted into the ground.

Two months later I am reaping the harvest of some of the best tasting beans you are ever likely to eat. These goose beans are really pretty and taste even better than they look. These went into a simple and delicious bean salad.

Three Bean Salad

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 handful goose beans, strung, snapped and steamed (or 1 15 oz can green beans, drained and rinsed)

1 rib celery, diced

1/2 small red onion, diced (or 4 green onions)


1/2 C cider vinegar

1/4 C olive oil

1 Tbs honey

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 ground white pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a bowl, mix together beans, celery and onion. In another bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over bean salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate. I use a Tupperware bowl and shake it a few times before serving. Drain off excess dressing so that the beans do not disintegrate.

Serves 8


valereee said...

Oh, yum! I love beans. What's the difference between goose beans and green beans?

Veggie Option said...

Hi Valereee! Goose beans ARE green beans. They are a very tasty heirloom variety traditionally grown in Appalachia - the strings haven't been genetically bred out over the years, so they take a little extra effort to prepare, but the result is well worth it.

They have a wonderful beany taste. They aren't the prettiest bean when cooked because the purple/reddish blush disappears and leaves a greyish looking hull, and for this reason I don't can them, but they are delicious.

My mom grows another Appalachian heirloom variety called "greasy grit beans." They are a cornfield bean and are even better tasting than the goose bean. They also produce a high yield. Mom has already canned 16 quarts of them and has put away a couple dozen quarts in the freezer. And still they are producing!

valereee said...

Greasy Grit Beans? Do tell.

Veggie Option said...

Greasy grits are thus named because of their slick, "greasy" appearance. A lot of other types of green bean have a "fuzzy" hull, but the greasy is fuzz-free.

They are traditionally grown alongside corn so that they can use the stalk to climb. They are a wonderful tasting brown bean which can be cooked, canned or dried and used later for soup beans. To me and my extended Appalachian family, the greasy grit is THEE quintessential bean for making the old country stand-by soup beans and cornbread. YUM.

The greasy grits we grow have been in our family for as long as anyone can remember. It is a highly prolific bean, and we've been known to can 30+ quarts of them plus still have enough to dry and use all winter long as soup beans - and STILL have several dried quarts saved for planting the following season.

(I should also mention that my Mom's garden spans three acres, so she has the room to really go nuts with beans.)

valereee said...

Veggie Option, that is so cool. Have you considered registering your Greasy grit bean with Seed Savers? In their 2008 Yearbook I see only a single snap pole bean called 'greasy grit' and it's at the Heritage Farm in Decorah, IA, which means no other member is currently keeping and propagating that bean.

Katy said...

They look so yummy! Never eaten them, but I like beans. :)