- Haricot beans, Phaseolus vulgaris, fagioli, navy beans, pea beans and yankee beans, are small, oval, plump and creamy-white with a mild flavour and smooth, buttery texture.
- In the US, they are known as navy beans and are the classic ingredient in Boston baked beans.
- Haricot beans are widely used in the cooking of countries such as France, Spain, Portugal and South America.
- With little flavour of their own, they absorb other aromas and flavours easily, which makes them popular beans to use in bean salads, vegetable soups, slow-cooked dishes such as cassoulet or bean purées.
Know your Haricot bean - Varieties
- The Filet beans (Haricot Vert) Phaseolus vulgaris are thinner than other beans, not just an ordinary snap picked while still immature.
- However, they are not considered a separate species.
- Basically, thin, relatively short beans.
- Other than that, they are like any other pole (or bush) snap bean.
- Classic French filet beans usually have a string and must be harvested young.
- Recent developments have eliminated the string in most varieties.
- For best flavour, harvest very young - under 0.6cm (1/4 inch) thick.
Masai Bush Filet Bean
- This very popular baby French filet bean is one of the most popular in Europe.
- Very good and flavourful beans are borne on bushes that have small leaves making it easy to pick.
- The pods are 4 inches long and a nice green colour.
- It is very disease resistant and has a white seed.
Maxibel Filet Bean
- A fancy-type 'classic French filet' bean with very long, 7-1/2" extremely thin (only 1/4" across), dark green pods.
- Flavourful and attractive black beans fill the pods all season long.
- It is stringless - the first 'classic filet' bean with that attribute.
Nickel Filet Bean
- Classic, petite French filet bean.
- Remarkable tolerance to both hot and cold growing conditions.
- Stringless pods have a consistent deep green colour and are slow to develop seeds.
- Compact plants with strong, upright branches and good disease resistance.
- For the absolute best tasting beans, harvest every other day and pick them when they are 10cm long and 1.25cm diameter (4" and 1/2").
Straight 'N Narrow Filet Bean
- Petite, straight, dark green and tasty.
- Sturdy, upright, 18" bush-type plants produce an abundant yield of slender, round 5" long beans.
- A strong growing plant, requiring little care.
- The beans are easy to pick as they stand out against the foliage.
- These beans are usually served whole.
- Delightful steamed and perfect in Salad Nicoise.
Teseo Filet Bean
- European French filet bean with round, pencil-slim very straight 5" pods with delectable flavour and elegant appearance.
- Harvest the dark green pods when only about 0.6cm (1/4") in diameter for the best flavour.
- Exquisitely tender with a delicate flavour and texture.
- Upright, medium bush-type plants offer a long harvest window due to slow seed development.
- White seeded.
Goldito Filet Bean
- An early French filet bean variety that has the perfect size beans for preparing and serving without cutting.
- The pods are 4 1/2 to 5 inches in length and capture the subtle buttery flavour of a wax bean.
- The vigorous plants produce an abundance of pods evenly distributed throughout making them easy to pick by the handfuls.
Great Northern bean
- The great northern bean is a large white bean that resembles a lima bean in shape with a delicate distinctive flavor.
- These beans have a very mild flavour, thin skins, and a velvety texture when cooked.
- They readily absorb the flavours of added spices and herbs.
- They’re a popular ingredient in Mediterranean dishes and in French cassoulet.
- They need to soak for a minimum of four hours.