Veg ID: They come in all colours! Green beans are just the start. Purple, yellow, speckled, all with their own flavours and sizes but, really, they’re all beans in the end. We love the purple and white “Dragon’s Tongue” variety for its nutty flavour.
Keep them fresh: Store in the fridge and enjoy within a week for best crunch. Best kept in a semi-sealed bag or container, as they will go limp with too much air but may get a “rusty” look when sealed with too much moisture.
Eat them fresh (July-Sept): Steamed, boiled, roasted with oil and a bit of salt just like you’d oven roast potatoes, in stews and soups. They’re a nice crunchy raw snack, but just a few here and there to avoid a potential tummy-ache.
Enjoy year round: Pickled, fermented, frozen
August Farmer Fave: Heat up some oil or butter in a pan, add a clove of garlic, and throw in some chopped fresh green beans and an heirloom tomato. Cook for 5-10 minutes and serve alongside eggs for breakfast. Salt and pepper as needed.
All-season Farmer Fave: Try adding pickled or fermented beans to your veggie stir-fry or stovetop meat-based dishes for a tangy flavour burst.
Pickled beans are a real treat any time of year. Great as a savoury snack to pull out of the cupboard when company shows up (think of it as a homegrown substitute for potato chips). Be sure to use safe canning methods or avoid the fuss and make a fridge-ready version. We love green beans and the Dragon’s tongue variety as they seem to keep their crunch.
Fermented beans can be done at home on the counter. See proper directions for doing it safely here, but it’s basically putting beans in salty water and leaving them on the counter for a few days/weeks until they look and taste delicious and then put them in the fridge. That’s it. Don’t be scared off by the term “lacto-fermented”.
Frozen beans make their way into many winter meals at our house. Grab a handful and add to pasta meals, soups, potato casserole, and anywhere else that you’d use fresh beans where it’s OK for them to be a bit softer. When the beans are fresh, the fridge is too full, and summer gets busy, just take ten minutes to chop them up, dunk them briefly in a pot of boiling water, freeze them on cookie sheets (so they don’t stick together) and then put them in a freezer bag. Some years we even skip the boiling water dunk (known as “blanching” for better storage colour/texture) and they keep for a couple of months in the freezer just the same. We’ve found that traditional green or yellow bean varieties freeze better than the broader types like “Dragons’ Tongue”.
Places to start…