I think I mentioned in a previous post that I've been growing Tongue of Fire beans this year in one of the gardens. I thought they were kind of neat looking and I wanted to experiment with "shelling" or dried beans as opposed to snappy green string beans.
As it turns out, you can pick them young and eat the whole pod as you would a string bean. They won't get quite as purple if you do that, but they're mighty tasty. I also used them in a jar of refrigerator pickled "dilly beans" and they came out pretty good.
I'm actually not quite sure if they can be dried as I originally intended. Johnny's has conflicting info on that topic between the catalog, the seed packet, and the website description. I've let some mature (i.e. grow full-sized beans within the pods) and they're shelled and drying as we speak. I guess we'll see if they dry okay or if they're best eaten shelled and cooked fresh.
I love that we have a big enough garden now that I can start experimenting with new and unique crops.