I fell in love with green flageolet bean over ten years ago when I lived for the summer in a small village in France. Yes, thats right, I fell in love with a bean. I was so smitten that I insisted that my mother purchase a box to return to the states with… a box which tragically has been sitting in our pantry for the past ten years.
This was a terrible oversight. The green flageolet, the “caviar of beans”, is a prized bean in French cooking, and tastes really brilliant. I was so excited to find is being cultivated here in California by my favorite bean source, Rancho Gordo (just a few weeks ago given nod to in the NYTimes)!
Today’s lunch was a simple bowl of rice and beans. I soaked a cup of beautiful green Rancho Gordo flageolet beans overnight, and sauteed them with a half an onion for fifteen minutes before covering them with some chicken stock and simmering for an hour and a half, adding water whenever the liquid decreased too much. The beans become soft, meaty, and unlike any other beans, and you can serve them simply with rice, or, as I had planned originally, with lamb. (I, upon taking the lamb out of the freezer today after half way cooking my beans, realized that I had failed to remember the directions for the Trader Joe’s frozen lamb rack which specifically states to defrost overnight before cooking. Yes, I should start getting lamb racks at the butcher store, but the frozen ones are so convenient to have in case you want to eat well without leaving your house for two days. God, that’s a bad excuse.)
They also taste delicious as a cold salad with lemon oil dressing, freshly cracked pepper, and some parsley.