Thursday, May 15, 2008

Portuguese Beans

This weekend when we were visiting Victor's parents for Mother's Day my Father-in-Law, who is Portuguese, was giving me a tour of his freshly planted garden. His potatoes are already poking up a good 2 inches out of the ground, as well as his beans. Every year he grows these broad green pole beans that are right from Portugal. They look a lot like a cannelloni bean from Italy. You can eat them when they are young like a regular "string bean" -- they usually cut them in a "French Cut" (but I guess it's really a Portuguese Cut) style, boil them in salted water along with a few eggs (still in their shells). Then, when they are done, the hard boiled eggs are taken out and minced, then mixed with a little balsamic vinegar (one teaspoon or more), lots of olive oil and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the beans. If you're feeling fancy, sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top. One of Victor's favorite summer dishes. When the beans are allowed to grow larger, the beans are shelled and dried -- then used in soups all winter long. Yum. SOOOoooooo .... My Father-in-Law gave me a large baggie of his Portuguese Bean Seeds saved from last year for planting. I'm excited to learn from him how he saves his seeds and to do a little studying on my own. He also gave me some bush Portuguese Beans that look like a light kidney bean. I've never tried growing any other type of bean besides your standard bush green bean, so I'm looking forward to getting into it. Especially because they keep so nicely, are a good source of protein, and are easy to grow. Happy Spring and Come Summer!

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