Green Beans 101
The word “bean” refers to the fruit, the seed and the plant that produces them. Beans can be long and narrow, straight or slightly curved. Some varieties are stringless, such as snap beans.
BUYING GREEN BEANSChoose: Firm, crisp fresh beans, with a good green color without bruises or brown spots and regular in shape. A little moisture when snapped indicates freshness.
Avoid: Beans that are overripe or too old, as they will be hard and mealy.
STORING GREEN BEANSIn the Fridge: Place fresh unwashed beans 2-3 days in a loosely closed or perforated plastic bag.
In the Freezer: 12 months. Blanch cut fresh beans 3 minutes and whole beans for 4 minutes.
PREPARING GREEN BEANSWash fresh beans just before using; break off each end and remove the string (if necessary).
COOKING GREEN BEANSFresh green beans need to be cooked with care, as they can lose their color. Cooking time varies depending on the method used, the size of the beans, and whether they are whole or cut into pieces.
Keep cooking time brief; they will be tastier, more nutritious and more colorful.
Boiled or Steamed: 5-15 minutes.
SERVING IDEAS FOR GREEN BEANSFresh green beans are more often eaten cooked (hot or cold) than raw. They are served as a side dish or used in salads, soups, stews, marinades and stir-fries. They are delicious as gratin or dressed with a sauce or vinaigrette. They work well with tomato, thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint, marjoram, mustard, anise, nutmeg and cardamom.