Dragon Tongue Beans
Dragon Tongue beans are an open pollinated heirloom variety originally cultivated in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century in the Netherlands. From there it spread to France and England then eventually to the New World. Dragon Tongue beans have been naturalized in a wide range of climates throughout the Americas, having the ability to adapt to heat and humidity. Like many beans of Phaseolus vulgaris Dragon Tongue beans are not tolerant of frost and seeds should be planted well after the ground has thawed for the season. Fresh snap beans will be ready for harvest sixty days after planting and shelling beans by one hundred days. Dragon Tongue beans are a great bean variety for home gardeners, known for their productive, high yields and incredible flavor.
For Melbourne growing, sow the seeds direct in Spring (after the last frost) in a full-sun position. They are a bush-bean variety, and will grow to 70cm. Once the beans kick in, pick daily to maximise your yields.
When harvested young the tender pod of this bean is entirely edible – no shelling required. To preserve their crisp texture beans can be simmered or steamed for a few minutes then dropped in an ice bath to halt cooking. Even when cooked lightly their exterior coloring will fade once cooked. To showcase their coloring utilize young beans in raw preparations such as salads or served alongside creamy dips as a crudité. Dragon Tongue beans are also perfect for pickling along with fresh herbs, spices, and other vegetables. Fresh Dragon Tongue beans can also be stir-fried, braised or battered and fried in tempura batter. When more mature Dragon Tongue beans can be shelled and their seeds utilized as a legume. Fresh or dried Dragon Tongue seeds can be prepared similarly to other shelling beans and should be cooked before consumption. To store, wrap beans in plastic and refrigerate. For best flavor and texture use beans within four to five days.