Real Food for Real Life

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ideas for fresh green beans...

A friend wrote today on the blog's Facebook page, looking for ideas on how to what to do with fresh green beans.  This is so timely and in keeping with my earlier post about summer abundance, that I though I would share the post with you.

Question:  I keep looking over the fresh green beans @ the Farmer's Market but I have no idea how to cook them or season them other than to boil. Any ideas?

Answer:  They are great right now, just like everything else this time of year. I just bought some today that I am going to include in a potato salad. Here's some ideas, and a lot of these, if you type "green beans" into the blog's search bar you can get more details...

1. Along the lines of boiling them, you could try what Ben calls my "Hillbilly"green beans, long cooked with bacon fat (and maybe ham bits, bacon, and potatoes)...this is the way I had green beans growing up.

2. Snap the ends and leave whole (how I like them), or break into smaller pieces. Rinse well and place in a covered microwave safe container with just the water clinging to them. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. remove immediately and they will be crisp tender- just cook a bit longer if you want them softer. Like this I usually just season with a bit of salt and nothing else.

3. Toss with a bit of olive oil and season with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper. Roast in the oven at 45o degrees until starting to brown, but still crisp. Or...toss on the grill, especially easy if you have a grill basket to toss them around in as they grill.

4. Use the microwave method, but only cook 3 minutes before draining well; pat dry with a paper towel. Saute in extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat until starting to brown, throwing in some minced garlic the last few minutes. we seem to eat them this way in the winter for some reason.

5. Use the microwave method, then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking and set the bright green color. Drain and add to any variety of salads.

6. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is a happy addition to any of the above mentioned cooking methods. The acid adds a very nice bite and fresh taste.

7. On the blog is a recipe for Indian style green beans that the boys really liked- it has a few more seasonings than the above super simple methods, but was still not difficult or time consuming.

I hope that helps. Let me know how it works out.

 Here's another one...Sauteed mushroom are really good with the garlic sauteed green beans, Cook the sliced mushrooms first until they have released their liquid, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving any oil/liquid in the pan. Saute the beans and add the mushrooms back in at the end to heat through.


  1. Thanks again..I am excited to try these tomorrow :)

  2. You are most welcome, I just hope you find something to your liking here. Happy cooking!!

  3. On Facebook: Pat and Sandi "Like" this.

    On Facebook:
    Tracey said... haha had to laugh mary at the "hillbilly green beans" you know thats how I have always had em..with cornbread of grandma also would boil new potatoes then slice then and brown them up in bacon fat!! yummy (but not at all healthy)
    July 21 at 9:54pm

    On Facebook:
    Casa En La Cocina said... Fried taters and cornbread with just about everything...ya take me bake to childhood dear Tracey :-)
    July 21 at 11:04pm

    On Facerbook:
    Casa En La Cocina said... I was tellin' Ben about cooking up some bacon and usin' the fat to wilt dandelion greens for great grandma Hammer...he just gave me a blank look...doesn't get it at all :-(
    July 21 at 11:07pm

    On Facebook:
    Tracey said... oh yes dandelion greens..that is called "poke salad" in hillbilly terms Mary!
    July 22 at 12:07am

    On Facebook:
    Casa En La Cocina I thought that was pokeweed...ain't ever had that, too much work to make it safe.
    July 22 at 9:00am

    On Facebook:
    Tracey said... it was always just dandelions n she called it poke..idk????
    July 22 at 2:48pm

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