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Green beans are great because they are generally kid friendly. Don't ask why kids will eat beans and not other vegetables, just accept it. They can be eaten raw or cooked, but please don't overcook them. They are best when they still have a little crunch and flavor and bright color to them. Don't forget to trim the ends! 

QUICK IDEAS: heat olive oil in a pan and sautee beans with salt and pepper; chop into your salad; put them in a bowl on the table for the family to snack as they like

Salade Nicoise: serves 4

*Do not toss this salad, it should look arranged

1/2 pound green string beans
4 small red or white potatoes
1 head Boston or red leaf lettuce
1 6 oz can albacore tuna, drained
3 to 4 tomatoes, quartered, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2-4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin rings
16-20 black olives 
2 tablespoons capers
8 anchovy fillets (optional)

Salade Nicoise Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or apple cider 
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of fresh tarragon or basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1) Steam the string beans until just crisp-tender. Cool them quickly in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then trim as needed.
2) Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 6 minutes, or until fork-tender
3) Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, juice, mustard, garlic, tattagon, and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until the mixture is well blended.
4) Peel the cooked potatoes if desired, and cut into 1/4-inch slices while still very warm. Douse with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and allow to cool.
5). Thoroughly wash and spin dry the lettuce. Place in a large bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and toss lightly.
6) Portion the lettuce onto 4 plates. Arrange the string beans, potatoes, tuna, tomatoes, eggs and bell pepper on top of the greens in a decorative fashion. Sprinkle the olives, capers, and anchovies over the salad, drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, and serve.

Cayenne-Spiced Dilly Beans: Yields 4 pints

2 pounds green beans
4 heads dill flower
4 cloves garlic
4 cayenne peppers or 4 pinches red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup salt
12 black peppercorns
4 large pinches yellow mustard seed

1) Snap the stem end off the beans and cut them to the height of a pint-sized mason jar.
2) Stuff the jars full of beans.
3) Stuff in 1 head of dill flower, 1 clove of garlic, and 1 cayenne pepper into each jar.
4) Add 3 peppercorns and large pinch of mustard seed into each jar. (If you are using red pepper flakes, add them now.)
5) Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil.
6) Ladle the hot vinegar salt water into each jar, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
7) Wipe the rims and top with rings and lids.
8) Process the beans in a water bath for 10 minutes.
9) Allow them to sit in the brine for at least a week before sampling so the flavors have time to blend.

Green Beans and Walnuts with Lemon Vinaigrette 
from The Santa Monica Farmers Market Cookbook

1 tsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup walnut oil or olive oil
2 tbsp minced shallot
1 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
2/3 cups walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

1) Remove peel from lemon with vegetable peeler and cut into very fine strips. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze enough juice to measure 2 tbsp; transfer to a small bowl. Whisk in mustard then oil and shallot, season with salt and pepper. 
2) Cook green beans in pot of boiling salted water until crispy-tender, 5-6 min. Drain, pat dry. 
3) Combine Beans, walnuts, and lemon peel strands in large bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. 

Green Bean and Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing: Serves 6
from Bon Appetit Sept. 2014

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 lb. wax or green beans, trimmed
2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved, cut into 4" pieces
1 pint cheery tomatoes, halved
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1) Whisk buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. 
2) Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water; drain. Place beans in a large bowl. 
3) Return water in pot to a boil and cook leeks until just tender, about 3 minutes; drain. Transfer to colander in ice water; drain and add to bowl with beans. Add cherry tomatoes and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.
4) Serve salad over heirloom tomato slices drizzled with buttermilk dressing and topped with mint and chives.

Roasted Green Bean and Potato Salad with Radicchio
From Cook's Illustrated March/April 2008

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound Red Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 in. pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small head radicchio, washed and cut into 2-in. by 1/4 in. slices

1) Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss beans and potatoes with 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and sugar in a large bowl. Remove baking sheet from oven and, working quickly, carefully transfer beans and potatoes to sheet and spread in even layer. (Do not wash bowl.) Roast until vegetables are tender and well-browned on one side, 20-25 minutes. Do not stir during roasting.
2) Meanwhile, whisk remaining tablespoon oil, vinegar, garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in now-empty bowl.
3) Toss hot vegetables with vinaigrette and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Stir in radicchio, transfer to a serving platter, and serve.

Teriyaki Stir-Fried Beef with Green Beans and Shiitakes: Serves 4 with rice

4 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 tsp. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
12 ounces flank steak, cut into 2-in. wide strips with grain, then sliced against grain into 1/8-in. thick slices
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp mirin (or sub 1 Tbsp white wine mixed with 1 tsp. sugar)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp cornstarch
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces (we often grow & sell these throughout the spring and summer!)
12 ounces green beans, ends trimmed and halved
1/4 cup water
3 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces, white an light green pieces quartered lengthwise

1) Combine 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1 tsp. sugar in medium bowl. Add beef, toss well, and marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring once. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar, broth, mirin, pepper flakes, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Combine garlic, ginger, and 1 tsp. oil in small bowl.
2) Drain beef and discard liquid. Heat 1 tsp. oil in a 12-in. nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef in single layer, breaking up clumps. Cook, without stirring, for 1 minute, then stir and cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer beef to clean bowl. Heat 1 tsp. oil in skillet and repeat with remaining beef. Rinse skillet and dry. 
3) Add remaining tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and heat until just smoking. Add mushrooms and cook until just beginning to brown about 2 minutes. Add green beans and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and cover pan; continue to cook until green beans are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Uncover skillet and push vegetables to sides to clear center; add ginger-garlic mixture to clearing and cook, mashing with spatula, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Combine garlic-ginger mixture with vegetables. Return beef and any juices to skillet, add scallions, and stir to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve with white rice. 

Quick Green Bean "Casserole": Serves 8

3 large shallots, sliced thin (about 1 cup)
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. flour 
5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
10 ounces cremini, portobello, or shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps wiped clean, and sliced 1/4 in. thick
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
1 1/3 pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup heavy cream 
3/4 cup chicken broth

1) Toss shallots with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. flour in small bowl; set aside. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in 12-in. nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer shallots with oil to baking sheet lined with paper towels. 
2) Wipe out skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, mushrooms, and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.
3) Wipe out skillet. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat; when foaming subsides, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and remaining 1 Tbsp. flour; toss in green beans, thyme, and bay. Add cream and chicken broth, increase heat to medium-high, cover, and cook until beans are partly tender but still crisp at center, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook, uncovered, until green beans are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Off heat, discard bay and thyme; adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle evenly with shallots, and serve.

Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme: Serves 4

1 pound of green beans, trimmed
1/4 stick of butter (1/8 of a cup)
1/2 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Almonds, chopped and toasted

1) Steam beans for 5 minutes.
2) Melt butter in skillet on medium heat.
3) Whisk half of the thyme, dijon mustard and the salt into the butter.
4) Add the beans to the skillet and toss until heated through (about 4 minutes).
5) Place in bowl and add almonds and the remaining thyme.

Green Beans with Bacon: Serves 6
From the Pioneer Woman Cooks
2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, ends cut off
4 slices Bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 whole Large Onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups milk, preferrably whole
1/2 cup half-and-half
1-1/2 teaspoon Salt, more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces sliced red peppers
extra milk for thinning if necessary
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1) Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller. 
2) Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they're cool and set aside. 
3) Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
4) In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat. 
5) Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs. 
6) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

Green Bean, Onion, and Tomato Salad: Serves 6

1 ½ pounds fresh green beans
½ large fresh onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, cut into thin wedges

Dijon Vinaigrette:
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup light olive oil

1) Blanch green beans in a pot of boiling water until crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and let cool.
2) Whisk together first 5 vinaigrette ingredients in bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.
3) Toss green beans, onion, tomato and dressing. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Ginger Garlic Green Beans: Serves 4
from Gourmet Magazine, 2009

1 pounds fresh green beans
3 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (tasted if you like...quickly in the oven)

1) Cook beans in a 6 quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered until just tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
2) Drain in colander and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry.
3) While beans cook, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then stir together with soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, and oils in a large bowl.
4) Add beans and toss. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds. 
Green Beans