One of my favorite things about farming and gardening is getting to discover new foods. Every year I choose a few crops to grow that are new to me, and I love sampling these new flavors throughout the season.
One of these new-to-me veggies were Red Noodle yardlong beans, a pole bean that produces thin, burgundy, two-foot bean pods. (As well as absolutely gorgeous purple flowers). The plants take to a trellis easily, and look beautiful in the garden. Embarrassingly, the first few harvests were rather small, and I didn't get a chance to cook with these beans before giving them out to CSA members. Tonight, I finally had a chance to give them a try.
This dish is the type of recipe that arises when I'm hungry and searching around the kitchen to see what I have available to cook in under half an hour, but the result was a fabulous, light summer meal. Feel free to alter or embellish-- next time, I'll try it with tofu or chicken.
1/2 pound of red noodle beans, cut into 4-5 inch pieces
1 large sweet pepper cut in strips
1/2 of a hungarian hot wax pepper, diced (any mildly spicy pepper would work)
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 baby can of coconut milk (about 5 ounces)
2 medium sized tomatoes, cut into large chunks (I used Romas)
Rice (I used a white sushi rice)
Spices (I used generous amounts of tumeric, ground ginger, cumin, paprika, and black pepper).
A dash of rice vinegar
A dash of olive oil
A dash of soy sauce
Start the rice, and prepare the other ingredients while it cooks.
Add the olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic when the oil begins to sizzle. After a minute or two, add the beans and some of the hot pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add a spoonful of coconut milk to prevent veggies from sticking to the pan.
After several minutes, when the beans are about halfway cooked, add about half of the coconut milk, and the rest of the peppers. Add the spices. Put a lid on the pan and turn down the heat to medium/low.
Cook for another few minutes, until the beans are tender, but the peppers still have some crunch. Add the remainder of the coconut milk, and the tomatoes and cook another minute or so to stir in the flavors. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Serve over rice and enjoy!
Now that I've finally tried the Red Noodle beans, I love them! Their texture is firmer than a traditional green bean, and unlike other purple veggies they keep most of their color when cooked.