Asturian Flageolet Beans, 400g
Verdina beans are produced in small quantities in Asturias and Galicia. It is rare variety though growing in popularity.
Verdina comes from the word "verde", green and they have this colour because they are picked before they can dry in the pot. After picking they are lightly dried in the dark to preserve their colour and organoleptic characteristics.
Verdina beans are about 15mm long and flat. They are planted in May and they need a lot of water (hence their origin in rainy Northern Spain) before harvested in November.
They are creamy, with a gentle flavour and very thin skin. They are very sensitive so it is advisable to use them before April to fully enjoy their texture and flavour.
Cooking your beans
Soak the beans until they are plump and smooth. Usually, 12 hours is enough. Sometimes you may need a few hours more, particularly if the beans are a bit older. In warm weather refrigerate the soaking beans.
When the beans are soaked, rinse and put in a heavy cook pot and cover well with fresh water. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat to very low and cover. Simmer gently until tender - usually for 2 to 2.5 hours, or 50-60 minutes if cooked in a pressure cooker. NB Should you find the beans are simmering too hard, you can “shock” them (slow things down) with the addition of a little cold water.
Cooking times vary due to the age of the beans, water hardness and how gently the beans are simmered. Once you’ve cooked them a couple of times you'll get to know them.
Please note: Heirloom beans can reach optimum tenderness relatively quickly so keep an eye on them!