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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • Common Varieties
    Wax Beans

    This creamy yellow type is crisp and sugary. Great for pickling or starring in a summer pasta with cherry tomatoes, ricotta, and basil.

    Haricots Verts 
    Thin and tender, these pricier beans win fans with their complex, slightly grassy taste. Let them shine in a classic French sauté tossed with butter and slivered almonds.

    Purple Beans
    These eggplant-hued stunners have the same flavor as green beans but are a touch tougher. Cooking turns them green, so serve them raw in salads to play up the color. Thinly slice, then toss with farro, goat cheese, lemon juice, and dill.

    How to Choose Green Beans
    Look for pods that are firm and slender, with a velvety emerald skin. Stay away from green beans in which the shape of the seeds is visible through the skin—those are tough and overly mature.
    They should make a sharp snap when broken (thus the name “snap beans”).

  • How to Store Green Beans
    Refrigerate unwashed green beans (damp beans can mold quickly) in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    How to Prepare Green Beans
    The fibrous “strings” that gave string beans their name have been bred out of modern varieties, which means prepping them is easy. Just trim off the knobby stem end and leave the pointy tips intact. Rinse in a colander before cooking or serving raw.

    To steam green beans, place a steamer basket in a large saucepan with 1 inch of water, bring it to a boil, place the beans in the basket, cover, and steam until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. To blanch them, fill a mixing bowl halfway with ice and add water to cover; cook the beans in boiling salted water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the ice bath until cool, about 1 minute; then drain.

    Lygeia Grace 

  • How To: Cook Green Beans

    Here are a few easy ways to prepare fresh green beans.


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What's your favorite green bean recipe?

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