Dragon Tongue beans, AKA Dragon Langerie, maintain their designation as a fresh picking bean simply through the Germanic translation of bean: a legume picked when young. Bean also refers to the entire fruit: the pod and the seed. Dragon Tongue beans are a Dutch wax type bush bean. They are a member of the Fabaceae family along with peas and pulses. They should not be confused as a shelling bean variety, such as fava beans and lima beans, as these varieties are beans whose pods cannot be eaten.The Dragon Tongue bean is a dual purpose bean, qualifying as a fresh pod bean as well as a dried legume. When harvested fresh, the entire bean, shell and "seeds" are edible. The bean has a warm cream color with vivid violet variegations throughout its stringless pod. Its shape is broad and the bean measures to an average of six inches in length. The pods are crisp and succulent and bear four to six plump bone white seeds with pink to purple stripes that turn tan with age. The fresh seeds are firm, slightly starchy, nutty and sweet. The entire bean can be eaten raw or cooked. When cooked, the bean looses its variegated colors.
The tender pod of this bean is entirely edible. No shelling required.
Best raw, Dragon Tongue beans are also excellent steamed, but the color fades during cooking. Perfect for pickling with spices, adds its naturally good flavor to bean salads and stir-fries. Serve simply as a delicious side dish. Its unique color makes this bean an attractive edible garnish and an interesting conversation piece when served to curious guests. To store, wrap in plastic; refrigerate. Use beans within one week for optimum flavor and texture.
Dragon Tongue beans are an open pollinated heirloom variety originally cultivated in the 18th Century in the Netherlands. The original cultivar has never been manipulated and thus maintains its heirloom status a plant whose original seed has been passed down for generations. It has been naturalized in a wide varieties of climates throughout the Americas, having the ability to adapt to extreme heat and humidity. Dragon Tongue beans are a great bean variety for home gardeners, known for their productive high yields and incredible flavor versus other fresh bean varieties. Dragon Tongue beans are available mid summer into fall.
PICKLED DRAGON TONGUES
2 lbs or so of beans
4 cups of white vinegar
1/2 cup canning salt
4 cups of water
In this recipe, there is no pre-cooking (also called raw packing), just clean and trim green beans and put them in the canning jar with a couple of cloves of garlic. Heat up water, vinegar and salt. Pour solution in each jar.
Shake things up by trying different flavorings and veggie combinations. Try adding pepper flakes or whole hot peppers to the beans,bay leaves, fennel seeds, dry mustard, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, etc.