Sunday, June 21, 2009

Green Beans 四季豆

Left: American Blue Lake pole beans
Right: French Rolande bush beans
Center: Cherry Bomb hot peppers

There are only 3 plants in this experimental EB.
1 Insuk Wang Kong - red flowers
2 Blue Lake - white flowers
(Photo 6/2/2009)

French Rolande - white flowers
(Photo 6/16/2009)

Blue Lake -- this is the second batch I picked, we ate the first harvest last week. It is a prolific producer, I pick a small handful of beans everyday from these 2 plants. If one is to grow 16 plants in an EB (as suggested) there will be plenty of beans for a family of 4. The taste and texture of this stringless green bean is suitable for Chinese stir-fry dishes, it would be good in casseroles and soups also.

Rolande -- this is the first harvest which is not much, that is to expected in a bush bean. I like the taste and texture of this bean, it is tender and sweet with minimal cooking and seasoning, my favorite way of enjoying this filet bean is to blanch it briefly in boiling water, drain, and toss with garlic butter or extra virgin olive oil, JJ likes it with a dash of Newman's Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing.

Both types of beans were picked at very young immature stage, the American beans are shorter and thicker with larger seeds, the French filet beans are slender and longer with smaller seeds. Blue Lake pole beans keep on giving, the more one picks the more they produce (跟你拼了)。 The filet bush beans have shorter life cycle, they produce 1-2 flushes then die, it is only good for short season and catchup crop (人家姑娘不高興咩)。

Taste Test
Everyone in the family prefers the French filet bean, a real gourmet treat. It is sweet and tender without beany taste, best use when fresh. Blue Lake tasted beany and more substantial, good for stir-fry when use fresh (or use for freezing and canning). It definitely needs more seasonings and longer cooking time than the French filet beans.

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