This weeks featured vegetable is the Dragon’s Tongue Bean, a fascinating old legume that’s very interesting and sure to delight on a dinner plate!
The Dragon Tongue bean can be utilized at multiple stages of maturity. When harvested young the entire bean, shell and seeds are edible. Young beans have a warm cream color and are ready for harvest when purple variegations appear on their stringless pods. Dragon Tongue beans have a broad shape and measure on an average six inches in length. Fresh, immature pods are crisp and succulent and bear four to six plump bone white seeds with pink to purple stripes. The fresh seeds are firm, slightly starchy, nutty, and sweet. The entire bean at this young stage can be eaten raw or cooked. When cooked, the bean will lose its variegated colors. If allowed to mature fully the stripes on the bean will turn to a deep red color and the internal seeds of the bean pod can be shelled and used as is or left in their pods to dry then used as a dried bean. Dragon Tongue beans are available mid-summer through the fall.
Dragon Tongue beans are rich in protein and fiber and additionally offer potassium, selenium, iron, folate, manganese, vitamins A, C and K, and calcium.