Behold—another bizarre, new vegetable from a Southern California farmers’ market!
Yes, I know, it’s 100% culturally insensitive and ethnocentric to call something I’ve heretofore been entirely unaware of bizarre, but look at these things.
I’m told by the farmer who tasted these with me Sunday—I’m assuming to prove they were edible/not poisonous?—that these are called winged beans. I’ve never before seen them at a market, farmers’ or otherwise, and was immediately intrigued when I ran across them. This same farmer claimed they’re good eaten raw or lightly sautéed.
We just had them chopped up in a salad, and they provide a dry, slightly bitter taste along with an airy, crisp texture that seems to soak up sauces and dressings. Plus they make these cool star shapes when sliced. Give ’em a try if you see them around and let us know if you find out anything more about them.
They were at the nearly southern-most vendor at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market this past Sunday for anyone in the area and wondering, just before the mushroom tent.