Flageolet beans are slim elongated beans, pale green or cream in colour (there is usually some of both colour in a bag of beans). They are good in a salad because they hold their shape well. They’re also fantastic served hot with a roasted leg of lamb imbued with the fragrance of rosemary. In the mouth the cooked beans are smooth and slippery until you bite them, then the fluffy nutty-tasting interior of the beans bursts out. Delicious!
You can use them in place of white navy beans or other slim white beans, or if a recipe calls for flageolet beans and you don’t have them, use white or navy beans instead.
Pulses (peas, beans and lentils) are the edible seeds of leguminous plants. After drying they can be stored for many months, but are best used within a year of drying. Dried beans and peas need to be soaked in water before cooking to fully hydrate them and to make them more digestible. If you live in an area with hard water on tap, it is best to soak the pulses in boiled water, or use filtered water, to shorten the cooking time. Boiling the water drives off the calcium carbonate in steam which would otherwise be absorbed by the pulses, lengthening the cooking time.