The Simple Pleasure of Green Beans

Twisty, bright and crunchy, green beans are like a last taste of summertime snap as our weather turns chilly.

Preparation couldn’t be simpler – they cook up in a jiffy and are so versatile: steam, sauté, stir fry or bake them into a casserole. They’re also delicious raw or blanched and chilled, then added to a salad like the classic Niçoise. Green beans are a popular item for canning and make a fantastic pickled treat.

Green beans also feature in a classic and delightful children’s book about picky eaters, Bread and Jam for Frances. If you don’t know this classic book for early readers, visit you local book store or library and ask for it. If you do know it, thinking of Gloria “practicing with a string bean” is sure to make you smile.

Green beans (aka string beans, snap beans or haricots vert) come in variety of shapes and sizes and are in season right now. We love them simply cooked with a little added heat/spice to accent their natural nutty sweetness. Below are few simple flavor combinations to try:

• with lemon, feta and black pepper
• with sliced or blanched almonds and garlic
• with sliced shallots and red paper flakes
• with pancetta, onion and thyme
• totally naked and raw

Share your favorite green bean preparations in our comments below.

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