Ingredient Spotlight: Green Beans

Cook, In Season, Ingredient Spotlight, Summer

Ingredient Spotlight: Green Beans

Crisp, vibrant green beans are a summer staple, likely to show up at cookouts, picnics and dinner parties throughout the season. Make the most of them with our tips, plus new ways to prepare them from the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen.


Look for: Green beans should snap easily when broken. Choose beans that are bright green with velvety smooth pods, free from brown spots or bruises. Store them, wrapped in paper towels, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To prevent mold, leave the bag open for air circulation.


Prep tips: Rinse green beans under cold running water, then snap off the pointy stem ends and remove any tough strings that run along the length of the bean. To retain their color, cook them whole at a high temperature for a short period of time, then refresh in cold water immediately after cooking. Here’s your toolkit:


Ingredient Spotlight: Green Beans


Uses: Green beans take well to all kinds of cooking techniques: boiling, steaming, sauteing and deep-frying, to name a few. Add them to soups for color and contrast, or pickle them so they take on a new flavor. You can also enjoy them raw on crudites platters and in composed salads.


Recipe Ideas


Fried Green Beans

Fried Green Beans: Toss green beans in flour seasoned with salt. Dredge green beans in buttermilk, then dredge in flour again. Fry in vegetable oil at 375°F until golden brown. Serve with herbed buttermilk dressing. 


Green Bean & Radish Salad

Green Bean & Radish Salad: In a large bowl, toss blanched green beans and thinly sliced radishes. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, whole-grain mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Add to vegetables and toss to combine.


Pickled Green Beans

Pickled Green Beans: Bring 1 cup water, 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. pickling spices to a boil. Pour over green beans. Let come to room temperature, then chill at least 12 hours before serving.


Green Bean Bundles

Green Bean Bundles: Blanch green beans and divide into bundles of about 6 beans. Wrap a chive around each bundle several times and place on a baking sheet, loose side down. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375°F until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. 


Wok-Fried Green Beans with Poached Egg

Wok-Fried Green Beans with Poached Egg: Blanch green beans. In a wok, saute garlic, ginger and chiles in oil until fragrant. Add green beans and toss to combine. Drizzle with soy sauce and top with a poached egg.


Chopped Green Bean Salad

Chopped Green Bean Salad: Blanch green beans and chop into 3/4-inch pieces. Whisk together sherry vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over green beans and toss. Top with toasted hazelnuts and crumbled goat cheese.


See more tips and recipes for peak-season produce here.

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