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Beans

Coco de Paimpol

Coco de Paimpol

Coco de Paimpol

 

The first of the Coco de Paimpol usually arrive early in July.  These semi-dry white haricot beans have an AOP designation of origin so only beans grown in a small coastal area of Brittany can be named Coco de Paimpol.  The temperate climate in this area allows for a long, slow growing period producing thin-skinned pods and a tender seed coating.  The plants are uprooted once the beans have reached the stage when the pods are just beginning to show signs of drying and then harvesting is done by hand. 

 

The pods of Coco de Paimpol are pale yellow/cream with light violet markings – less showy and smaller than a Borlotti.  The bean has a delicious nutty flavour and cooks quickly to a particularly creamy consistency. That creaminess pairs beautifully with fish – a pan-fried fillet of cod, or other white fish on a bed of Coco de Paimpol with, maybe, a few Girolles mushrooms would be my choice.  For a tasty, nutritious, vegetarian dish, pod the beans and cook them for 2-3 minutes.  Add them with a little of the cooking water to sliced onion which has been cooked in oil until soft, chopped tomato, thyme leaves, salt and pepper; pour into a gratin dish, cover with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven to brown the crumbs and bring all the flavours together.

 

Broad Beans

Broad Beans

Broad Beans    Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands    BROAD BEANS   Our first  Broad Beans  of spring usually come from Italy and, this year, they began to arrive in the first week of March.  Now English Broad Beans are with us.    Very early small bean pods can be cooked whole and eaten simply smothered in melted butter.  As they become larger, they need to be removed from their pods.  Late Broad Beans are best podded, boiled and then popped out of their grey-green outer skins to reveal the vibrant green kernel.  This removes not just toughness but the bitterness that can become more pronounced when the season is ending.  Even late crops can be tasty if treated right.  By this time the kernels may have taken on a mealy texture but can be pureed and spread on warm toast, used for a pasta sauce or be added to soups.  Broad Beans have a particular affinity with bacon so what’s nicer than a warm salad of cooked beans with new potatoes, bacon and peppery rocket or English watercress.

Broad Beans

Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands

BROAD BEANS

Our first Broad Beans of spring usually come from Italy and, this year, they began to arrive in the first week of March.  Now English Broad Beans are with us.  

Very early small bean pods can be cooked whole and eaten simply smothered in melted butter.  As they become larger, they need to be removed from their pods.  Late Broad Beans are best podded, boiled and then popped out of their grey-green outer skins to reveal the vibrant green kernel.  This removes not just toughness but the bitterness that can become more pronounced when the season is ending.  Even late crops can be tasty if treated right.  By this time the kernels may have taken on a mealy texture but can be pureed and spread on warm toast, used for a pasta sauce or be added to soups.  Broad Beans have a particular affinity with bacon so what’s nicer than a warm salad of cooked beans with new potatoes, bacon and peppery rocket or English watercress.