If there is a clear winner amongst all the Seed Saver’s Exchange vegetables we’ve enjoyed the past few years, it would have to be the green bean “Cherokee Trail of Tears.” Unlike some other varieties I’ve grown (“Tavera,” which didn’t sprout,”Purple Bush”and “Red Swan” varieties, which seem to put out one harvest and then turn into dry twigs, and “Blue Lake”, which was tragically decimated by locusts), “Cherokee Trail of Tears” is prolific and seems to enjoy San Diego’s climate. It handles both semi-shade and extreme sun well, and puts lout lots of beans which can be enjoyed green or shucked as beautiful ebony black beans.
For my Mom’s birthday we had a bit of both (green and shuckable) so I made a cold bean salad with both mixed together with some cherry tomatoes and a vinaigrette. I hadn’t really cooked fresh shelled beans before, and I’m not sure I did it long enough–so they were a bit crunchy but not bad. And they were a really awesome shade of purple.
I wish I could say that this bean salad fueled all the hula hooping my son did at the party. I think it’s more likely that the chocolate chip cookies did that.