One of the main reasons I signed up for a CSA three fateful years ago was to branch out and try new ingredients.
This was how I discovered that kohlrabi and I, while not mortal enemies like we were during year one, will never be best friends. It’s where I learned that although I like most vegetables, sunchokes are just really, really not my thing. There have been lots of positive experiences too: I can make patty pan squash taste good in anything and garlic scapes literally make me dance in excitement when I get them.
Last week my CSA basket brought me dragon tongue beans. I’ve seen these beans at the market quite frequently, but have never cooked them myself. Other than having a truly fantastic name, dragon tongue beans have these beautiful purple streaks on their pods.
These streaks sadly disappear when cooked, which is something I learned while making this recipe, but that didn’t stop me from being equally excited about eating them. Dragon tongue beans can be eaten raw like a snap pea or cooked like a green bean, which is exactly how I treated them here. Quickly blanched and then sautéed with pancetta and crimini mushrooms, it makes for a lovely side dish for pork or chicken.
If you don’t have dragon tongue beans, you can substitute regular green beans in this recipe and it’d be just as tasty.
- 1 pound dragon tongue beans or green beans
- 8 ounces pancetta, chopped into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ pounds crimini mushrooms, quartered
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to boil. Blanche beans for about 5 minutes. Drain immediately and run under cold water. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook pancetta until slightly crispy over medium heat. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
- Turn heat to medium low and melt butter. Add shallots and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Next stir in mushrooms and a healthy dose of salt. Stirring occasionally, let mushrooms cook down and release their juices, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add beans and pancetta to mushroom mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes more. then sprinkle with black pepper and parsley.