Monday, June 14, 2010

Merveille de Piemonte Beans with Sesame Dressing

Merveille de Piemonte beans are so beautiful it seems wrong to cook them.  Sadly, no matter what we've tried, they quickly loose their gorgeous purple speckles.  Blanching, sauteing, every approach leads to the same monochrome beans within seconds.  What survives, though, is the beautiful buttery yellow color that is hidden from view by those purple splotches.  So while the cooked beans are not quite as striking, they still look fantastic on a plate.  And, best of all, the taste is exceptional.
Snap beans are an excellent source of vitamins C, K and A as well as manganese, potassium and iron.  They also contain riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin.  Snap beans are reputed to be good for colon health because of the beta-carotene and vitamin C they contain.

Merveille de Piemonte beans have a flat, bumpy shape like a Romano bean, with a dense, firm texture.  Fresh-picked from the garden, these beans have a rich, hearty flavor that should not be masked by strong spices or elaborate recipes.  Instead, a simple sesame dressing is ideal for these (now yellow) beans.
Snap Beans with Sesame Dressing

1         lb           snap beans, washed and trimmed
2        Tbs          olive oil
1        tsp           toasted sesame oil
1        Tbs          rice wine vinegar
1        tsp           Dijon mustard
1/2     tsp           sea salt
1/4     tsp           black pepper
2        Tbs          sesame seeds, toasted
                        chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add generous amount of salt, then add beans.  Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes, then drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients (except sesame seeds), then toss with the beans.  Sprinkle seeds on top.


  1. WONDERFUL!!! :) Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I have my beans planted in the garden. I'll be trying this recipe soon. Delicious!

  3. These beans are absolutely gorgeous! It is a pity they loose their color as they cook, but thank goodness they don't loose their flavor. Another great recipe - thank you!

  4. I am totally going to take this blog post with me to my local nursery and demand they carry these seeds next year! This is a lovely recipe--many thanks!

  5. These beans look terrific with sesame dressing!

  6. beautiful. It is a shame that they lose their color. It is incredibly stunning!

  7. I guess it's true what they say~beauty lies within. Though the vivid color may pale, tasting them reminds you of where the true beauty the flavor.

  8. mmm, delicious. those remind me of the listada de gandia eggplant i like to cook with, since it also has purple stripes.


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