Hard to believe a month has already passed! Chef and I climbed into the car and off we were back over to Rosebank Farms in search of our monthly ingredients. Before bellying up to the stand, I noticed a large yellow sign that read ‘Certified South Carolina’. I’ve seen this sign all over the Lowcountry but never sure what it meant. With interest in learning more about it, I did what anyone would do… I googled it!
Certified Roadside Market Program is the first official roadside market program which was put together by the Department of Agriculture of South Carolina in 1972. As South Carolina farmers are always looking for ways to market their produce, this program was put in place to ensure these stations/stands meet certain standards, creating them to be a reputable program and offering a good supply of produce/products. This line caught my attention while reading up on the program, ‘at the same time, they want others to take an interest in the origin of their food and in those who spend their lifetime producing it.’ Reminding me of the purpose of what we are doing here today, now back to the farm!
Greeting us with a smile, Lindsay welcomed us back to the farm while pointing us in the direction of this odd looking bean. Yardlong beans they are called, beautiful in color and packed full of vitamin C!
Grown in warmer climates this subtropical/tropical plant originated in parts of South/Southeast Asia and southern China and attracts many pollinators, specifically various types of yellowjackets and ants. Despite its name the pods actually only come to about a half a yard long. With a variety of beans, they are usually distinguished by the different colors of their matured seeds. Here we were able to find both beautiful green and purple beans. Best use for this long bean is typically in stir-fry with potatoes, shrimp or pork.
Chef Brendon purchased a couple pounds of both and we delivered them to Chef Jason Rheinwald of The Ocean Room. Jay put on his chef coat and went to work! Found on the menu currently sits this new dish- Atlantic Black Grouper with fresh peas and beans, dressed with lemon-thyme broth. When asked how the beans were when preparing them, this is what I got back from Jay, “you know, they cooked like any other bean but what was cool is the purple bean never lost its color. Most the time when you work with produce of a vibrant color like that (such like beats) the color typically bleeds over, these didn’t.”
So visit The Ocean Room and make sure to order September’s ingredients, our ‘Seasonal Catch’!