Haricot Beans

(Also known by the names of haricot verts, great northern, navy bean, French navy bean, pea bean and Californian bean)

When thinking of Haricot beans baked beans spring to mind , some people say they Haricot beans as we normally see themare tiny round white beans, but there are around 3 main types that can be classed as the haricot bean, there is the small green unripe flagelot which have an excellent flavour, also the shiny ivory one that is both long and thin known as the canellini bean,used in Tuscan bean and pasta soup, or stews and salads, then of course their is the small round one that we associate with the baked bean, due to their flavour and the cheapness of haricot beans, this allows them to be used in various dishes due to the nutrition and filling qualitities. they also have the ability to absorb other flavours, such as the well known baked bean.


THaricot beanshe common climbing (pole) haricot bean is thought to have originated in South America ( the original plants domesticated more than 5,000 years ago) and then introduced to Europe like the potato in the 16th century. the haricot bean has also the nickname of The Navy bean, (due to the extensive use by the navy in the 19th century) for when the U S navy dicovered their unique nutritional value of protein, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, they ordered them by the ton, and still use them very extensively today.

***WARNING*** Beans in general do help in the production of fNO landing or take off arealatulence, (flatulence being the sign of a healthy gut) the average human producing around 5ltrs per day. (My only advice being try not to expel it all in one go- or how to loose friends and influence neighbours!!)

There are other variations like the HARICOT LINGOT which originated in Northern France, which is more of a large flattened, oval white bean, which tend to be more expensive to purchase, due to the extra care needed during the growing period. These beans are ideal for making cassoulet, for in the cooking they have a creamy plumpness. Or the Haricots blanc de Soissons, once again from France, that are more like an oversized lima bean and similar in shape and size to the gigante (a type of white runner bean) but it is of a different flavour and texture.

Dried Haricot beans If you are thinking of growing Haricot beans, plant them in early spring preferably in a sunny spot, rather like you would plant climbing or pole beans, complete with supports. (although there are some bush types about) the main ingredients required are sunshine and plenty of water. They can be picked young and tender, but if you require to dry and store, let them dry on the plants until the pods are brittle, then pick, take them from the pods and store in a dry place.

As with the other beans I give you a couple of recipes, the first for a stew type soup:-

Haricot Beans with Minced Onions, you will need:-

2 pints boiled haricot beans (ready drained)

4 medium sized onions

1/4 pint of brown gravy


Pepper and salt to taste


Peel the onions and chop (but not too finely) then fry them in butter or oil until a light brown in colour sprinkle white flour over them, Add the gravy, seasoning them with the salt and pepper, then add the haricot beans mixing all the ingredients together and finally serving when hot.




The second recipe is for a stew that can be served as a main dish. This will serve eight so you may want to cut down on the ingredients to suit the number of people.

Fabada asturiana ( or Haricot Bean stew) You will need:-

500g dried haricot beans (soaked over night)

225g of streaky bacon (soaked over night)

225g stewing beef

225g fresh chorizo sausage

150g French country sausage or black pudding

1 hock of ham

1 onion whole, peeled

1 chilli pepper, whole with seeds removed

1 head of garlic whole

1 bay leaf


Place the haricot beans with fresh water into a pot and bring to the boil, then add the bacon, beef, ham, onion, chilli,garlic and bayleaf and leave to simmer for 1&1/4hours being sure that the water just covers the meat.

Finally add both the sausage types and cook for a further 1 hour. Ater which, remove the onion, garlic, chilli and bayleaf, at this stage I would say that like the stews and soups that I make, if they are left for a day or two they will taste better and thicken up, I would also serve when hot, with a (warmed) crusty bread and some butter, especially on a cold day.



This is the part where my humour starts showing:-

A young lady who had a love of baked beans, suffered with the usual flatulence associated with them, but she met Mr “Right” so she felt that she aught to give them up. Subsequently they were married and one day returning from work her car broke down, so she ‘phoned the local garage and then her husband to explain what had happened saying that as it was a nice evening she would walk home.

However in passing through the village the smell of baked beans from a cafe was so tempting she popped in, ordered a plate of beans on toast which she devoured and went on her way, pharping as she went, upon arriving at the front door of her house, the husband opened the door and said ” I have a suprise for you, so you will have to wear a blindfold” and led her to a chair in the dining room, but just then the ‘phone rang, so the husband said “I won’t be long but don’t remove the blindfold”, hearing her husband on the ‘phone, her tummy rumbled and out came a pharp that would have put a skunk to shame, so she quickly took out her handkerchief and waved it around to disperse the smell. With her husband still on the ‘phone another pharp, which could have come straight from the sewage works, so once again she waved her hanky.

Finally the husband returned, removed the blind fold, and there, sitting around were 10 of her friends who had come to wish her a happy birthday!!!

What more can I say.

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