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Three Easy Green Bean Ideas

Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Food & Drink Expertise:
lightly cooked green beans

I love fresh green beans, but they are a lot of work to trim and prepare for cooking. When I’m hot and cranky I want those beans, but I want to do something REALLY easy. Here are three ideas that take as little work as possible.

First of all, I save money by buying bags of beans off the discount table. If I cook them quickly they are fine; even some minor brown spots will disappear in the cooking.

Idea #1- Eat them Raw

But the easiest idea of all was new to me this summer. Trim the ends and eat them raw. I have to say that this is not my favorite, but my husband, who is a fussy vegetable eater, likes them best this way. Go figure. Anyway, it’s worth a try. I usually eat a few raw ones with a veggie platter.

The thing I hate most is trimming all the ends of the fresh beans. It’s so worth it... canned green beans just can’t compare, but it’s still a lot of work. I’ve found that it goes a little faster if I use a pair of sharp kitchen scissors instead of a knife. I try to grab 3 or 4 beans that are about the same length at one time, and then I can trim both ends without moving them around.

Drop the beans into boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes. Don’t let them get mushy. Stop cooking when they are still bright green and just a little bit crisp. Drain immediately, or they will continue to cook in the hot water even if you turn off the heat.

Idea #2- with Salad Dressing

I like to put some in a bowl and drizzle with salad dressing... eat! This is good if they are freshly cooked and hot, or later after they are cold. Some of my favorite dressings to use are Green Goddess, Peppercorn Ranch, or some Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Idea #3- Simple Pickles

These aren’t fancy, but they are good. Throw a bunch of the cooked beans into some leftover dill pickle juice and wait a few days. Eat.

Of course, there are probably thousands of fancier or more complex things to do with green beans. I like a bunch of those too. But for absolute simplicity these are great.