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Flageolet beans with lamb

Rack of lamb with flageolet beans

Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

Flageolet (pronounced "fla-zho-LAY") are a type of shell bean grown in France and very popular in classic French cuisine.

A pale shade of green in color, Flageolet beans are sometimes known as the "caviar of beans" for their subtle flavor and the high esteem in which they are held by food lovers.

Flageolets are traditionally paired with lamb, although they are also served with poultry and seafood recipes. They can also be used in salads, in soups and in stews such as the classic Cassoulet recipe.

In the United States, flageolets are mostly available dried or canned, although some farmers grow any of a number of heirloom flageolet varieties. Dried flageolets should be soaked for at least six hours and then simmered until tender.

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