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
- 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.
- Combine remaining ingredients (except sesame seeds), then toss with the beans. Sprinkle seeds on top.