Crisp green beans are a highlight of summer product.
Green beans are the most common type of bean in Australia, though there are numerous other varieties available, such as broad beans, borlotti or butter beans. The long, slender pods vary in size between 10–20cm long, are slightly pointed at one end and have a felt-like texture.
Choose crisp, slender, brightly-coloured pods. Avoid any that are soft, bruised or wrinkled. Don’t choose large pods with swollen seeds as this indicates the beans are past their prime.
You can store unwashed beans in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to four days.
Green beans simply need to be washed, then top and tailed. They can be eaten raw, steamed or boiled (don’t overcook them – they should remain slightly crisp to retain their nutrients) and are a great addition to salads, stir-fries, soups and casseroles.
4 quick ways with green beans
For a simple and tasty side dish, sauté 1 diced onion with 2 cloves crushed garlic until soft. Add 350g green beans and a 400g tin no-added-salt diced tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, until beans are just tender.
For a fresh salad, steam green beans for 2–3 minutes, until tender crisp. Combine with tinned tuna, diced tomato, diced cucumber, pitted olives, baby spinach and rocket. Top with quartered soft-boiled eggs and serve.
Green bean bruschetta is a tasty revamp of the original. Steam 350g green beans and 1 cup frozen peas until beans are tender. Finely slice beans, then roughly mash beans and peas with a splash of olive oil. Season with pepper. Rub 1 garlic clove over grilled sourdough, then spoon bean mixture over bread and top with a dollop of fresh reduced-fat ricotta and a little more pepper.
This colourful salad looks impressive and will be a great addition to your next barbecue. Top and tail 2 cups green beans. Combine with 2 cups torn spinach leaves, 2 cups diced beetroot, 1 cup cooked peas and 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves. Arrange on a serving platter with fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces. Drizzle with a lemony dressing just before serving.
Did you know? One cup cooked green beans contains 127kJ, 3.9g fibre and are a source of folate and vitamin A.