Here's a vegetable that comes into its own this time of year.
WINGED BEAN (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) is one of those 'miracle plants' that you are supposed to wonder about.
- "The entire winged bean plant is edible. The leaves, flowers, roots, and bean pods can be eaten raw or cooked; the pods are edible even when raw and unripe. The seeds are edible after cooking. Each of these parts contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron, among other nutrients. The young leaves can be picked and prepared as a leaf vegetable, similar to spinach. The nutrient-rich, tuberous roots have a nutty flavour. They are about 20% protein; winged bean roots have more protein than many other root vegetables. The leaves and flowers are also high in protein (10–15%)".[-- Wikipedia]
What I like about them is that the beans taste Ok (for a miracle plant!) and deliver a satisfying crispness without any special prep.
Maybe the Filipinos are their culinary masters, as they seem to shine in a classic Filipino flavour combo. I find standard stir-frying make the beans a little underdone. They need stewing.
I also dry the leaves to make leaf powders.
- Sigarilyas Gising gising is a Filipino vegetable stew composed of winged beans, pork, and long green chillies. I like to add some tomato.
I have a plant planted at the end of 2020, it's still producing winged beans prolifically. I planted a second at the end of 2021, both plants together produce enough winged beans for stir fry twice a week in the last two months. I haven't found a way to cook the leaves yet.