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Green bean overload from CSA. Need ideas (no freezing, please!)

Today was another CSA pick up, and yet another bag of green beans. I have exhausted my green bean repertoire, which is admittedly limited. I really don't like frozen green beans at all. Like broccoli, it is one of those vegetables I only like fresh. This makes it difficult to use the little buggers up.

I beg of you to hit me with your favorite green bean recipes!

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  1. I am not a huge green bean fan but I do have one incredibly simple preparation that I LOVE - I can eat these by the pound. Heat a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease in a large skillet until very hot. Add 1.5lbs of fresh, trimmed green beans and saute until brown and blistered in spots. Add 2T. (more or less to taste) of Sriracha and salt to taste, cook a minute more. Devour. I also like them tossed with salt and olive oil and thrown in a 400 degree oven until they turn into crispy green bean "fries."

    5 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      I vary the seasonings but when cooked in bacon fat there isn't a green bean left at the end of dinner. Ever.

      1. re: weezieduzzit

        Oh yes, bacon grease makes everything better. With green beans, though, I dislike both their texture and flavor if they're cooked in water. Browning them either on the stovetop or in the oven brings out a sweeter, nuttier flavor that I love - and bacon is the icing on that cake!

        1. re: biondanonima

          Have you tried grilling green beans? Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and throw on a high heat grill. We use a disposable aluminum 1/2 size hotel pan with holes poked in the bottom. Toss or stir about every 5 minutes and it takes about 15 minutes to turn them into green bean "fries". Great alternative to heating up a kitchen.

        2. re: weezieduzzit

          I used to cook them with crispy bacon and then kind of deglaze with balsamic vinegar. Just remembered that recipe will have to make it soon.

        3. re: biondanonima

          This was what I clicked through to add—render some lardons (small pieces of cut thick bacon), then add a couple of cloves of slivered garlic and some green beans, just long enough to heat through. Serve immediately.

          Also, I pickle mine and put them in vodka sodas, because I'm weird like that, and of course they're indispensable in salade niçoise.

          1. re: karenfinan

            An excellent suggestion if you're a bloody mary fan!

            1. re: King of Northern Blvd

              Oh, man, I love this. Ground pork and green beans, what's not to love?

            2. I like the pickling suggestion. Here's one very simple way of making "dilly beans". Eat an entire, large jar of spicy dill pickles. Save all of the brine in the original jar. Cook the beans whole in boiling water until just tender. Plop them into the brine in the pickle jar, cover and refrigerate for a few days. Try to stop eating them. :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: justalex

                I can vouch for the dry-roasted, oven, and pan-roasted beans. I was amazed at how good they are. I roast them as hot as I can stand with a bit of olive oil, and then sprinkle on salt, pepper, and sometimes a bit of lemon juice. They are amazingly good. My favorite way to make green beans is to wash, snap & string them, and then cook them in a shallow pan with a can of diced tomatoes (you can use tomatoes with or without the green chilis in them), when the beans are tender and the tomatoes have reduced down quite a bit, stir in some canned coconut milk. I don't really measure, I just taste and keep adding coconut milk until the mix is good, (you can freeze leftover coconut milk for future use) The sauce will be pink with a few bits of tomato discernible. Season with salt & red pepper flakes and serve over rice. The origins are somewhat Brazilian, and sometimes I top the rice with toasted manioc flour (farofa) and then ladle the beans & sauce on top of the rice & farofa for a good vegan entree.
                I get a lot of skeptical looks when I suggest coconut milk & tomatoes, but it really is luscious, and works well with a variety of vegetables like bell peppers or sweet potatoes, but I find I like it best with green beans.

              2. Steam or boil to your desired doneness. 1) Dress with hazelnut/walnut oil and some balsamic, sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts/walnuts and goat cheese/feta cheese. Serve room temp or chilled. 2) Dress while hot with very mustardy vinaigrette and shaved parmigiano 3)Dress with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, mirin and sesame seeds. 4)Dress with very garlicky vinaigrette and combine with diced cooked potatoes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: escondido123

                  all fantastic ideas, escondido, and I am going to try them out. Like you, I enjoy green beans dressed simply with a potent dressing. They really soak up the tang, I find.

                  Steamed Green Beans with Shallot Vinaigrette

                  1 pound haricots verts (thin French green beans), or slender green beans trimmed
                  6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                  4 teaspoons Dijon mustard or any mustard you like
                  4 teaspoons champagne vinegar
                  1 big shallot, minced
                  a few Tbsp slivered almonds

                  Set the minced shallot in a bowl with the vinegar for five minutes.

                  Steam the green beans in about 1/2 inch of water in a skillet or in a steamer.

                  While the beans steam, whisk the mustard into the vinegar and shallot, and finally add the olive oil, whisking constantly. Toast up the almonds on a baking sheet at 375 for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, OR toast in a dry heavy pan, keeping a close eye on them so they don't burn. Stir or shake the pan around often until the nuts are medium brown.

                  Combine the dressing, green beans, and almonds. Mmmm. Leftovers are also equally delicious, either cold or room temperature. Crrrr-unch~!

                  *Make a bigger batch of toasted almonds and add to any other salad you make that week.

                2. I like to add stuff like sauteed onions/ shallots, mushrooms, nuts, etc. Then season with salt/pepper, butter and maybe a little balsamic, shaved parmesan on top. All of this might be a bit much, mix it up how you prefer.

                  1. Blanche them, toss with vinaigrette, and chill; then add to a composed salad such as salade nicoise. Or, after blanching, add directly to a green salad and toss with whatever dressing you are dressing the entire salad.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: masha

                      2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
                      2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
                      2 cups water
                      1/4 cup salt
                      1 clove garlic, peeled
                      1 bunch fresh dill weed
                      3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

                    2. Indonesian gado gado.

                      1. loubia b'zeit- lebanese green beans cooked in lots of onions, garlic, tomato. serve hot, cold, or room temp. love it!

                        1. Pickled green beans are a great solution to an overabundance of beans. I also love this salad from Guy Savoy, cold cooked green beans dressed with a creme fraiche dressing; very simple and utterly delicious.

                          Green Bean Salad with Cream
                          Cook 1 1/4 pounds of tender green beans that have been trimmed in boiling salted water until tender but still slightly crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water and refrigerate until ready to serve.

                          Make a dressing by combining the juice of one lemon and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Stir to dissolve the salt then stir in one minced shallot and 1/2 cup of creme fraiche.

                          When ready to serve, combine the beans with the dressing, arrange on a serving plate or on individual plates and garnish with fresh snipped chives. Snipped dill is also a good addition.

                          This salad and the dressing do not keep well, I would recommend making only enough dressing for the amount you need to serve at a meal. I had leftover salad that I tried the next day and did not care for the flavor nor the greasy texture of the dressing from the creme fraiche. But made fresh and served immediately it was a big hit.

                          1. Our beans have just started coming in and my husband reminded me it was time to make some French celery seed dressing, it contains ketchup. We put that on leftover cold green beans and just add some very thinly sliced onion.
                            Three bean salad is an old standby. You could make it with a bigger proportion of green beans to kidney beans.

                            1. green beans are wonderful with pesto, with or without pasta. I also like green bean almond pate
                              (faux chopped liver). It is remarkably good.

                              1. I knew I could count on my fellow 'hounds! I have enough green beans to try almost every recipe on this thread ;) I am taking note of every single response here and welcome any more suggestions.

                                1. My grandmother would fry 4-6 slices of bacon until crispy. Remove from pan to drain. She would add diced potatoes and chopped green beans (equal amounts of each, roughly) to the bacon drippings in the pan (I believe she did drain some of it off as that's a lot of bacon fat remaining), water, salt and pepper and then simmer - adding a little water as necessary every so often - until the whole lot was soft and the potatoes had a sort of creamy texture. Then she'd toss in a handful of fresh chopped dill from the garden, mix it all up, taste for salt/pepper, scoop into serving bowl and sprinkle the chopped crispy bacon over the top. She called them dill beans and they were so good in the summer.

                                  1. I have two suggestions...one for entree, one for side dish.
                                    Olive oil, ton of minced garlic, rounds of polska kielbasa, toss in blanched green beans and cook until soft.
                                    blanche then toss with some hoisin sauce, and sauteed garlic.

                                    1. This is the best bean recipe ever...you can make it with fresh green beans instead of canned:


                                      Don't skip on the garlic - it literally is 2 heads of garlic called for in this recipe. I have made it in a crock pot. It is totally delicious.

                                      1. My boyfriend begs for these beans, and I think they're delicious, so I give in very frequently. The sauce tastes incredibly similar to the wakami we like from a local place. I substitute mirin for the sugar, and add a touch more vinegar.


                                        1. In the past when I have overbought fresh green beans and I didn't want to freeze them, I extended their life in the fridge until I could eat them all by blanching two min. in boiling water and then throwing them in ice water to stop the cooking, and drain. Refrigerate until ready to use. They keep better than raw for a week or more. I concur with the foregoing ideas. They all sound great but I would blanch them first. That first short cooking makes a difference.

                                          1. Since green beans come out of the garden in such quantity, DW puts up a good part of them as spicy dilly beans, packing the raw geans directly into the jars along with some chili flakes, a clove of garlic, and a head of dill weed. Then she pours over the pickling liquid (she uses white vinegar) and processes them in the water bath for a few minutes. Then we'll have them for the rest of the year. They're absolutely delicious.

                                            This sounds roughly like the recipe:


                                            1. Blanch them and puree them with toasted walnuts, olive oil, garlic, salt, dill, mustard, whatever seasonings you like. This makes a nice pate, or you can thin it with broth and serve it as a sauce over pasta or rice. Years ago, I had a housemate who did a really nice green bean puree with shallots, cream and nutmeg. We called it "invalid food" but it was delicious. Both of these dishes are good for those who dislike green beans or like them and are sick of them!

                                              1. I make a vegetarian korma with green beans as the main ingredient, it roughly follows the recipe by Manju Malhi on the BBC's website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/veg... .

                                                The only other way I make beans apart from boiling for a quick side is cooking in a pyrex in the microwave with about a T of butter, a couple of roughly chopped garlic cloves and lots of black pepper. Nom.

                                                1. Green beans make me think of Penang, a peanut-coconut sauce Thai dish. Pretty easy to make at home.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                    Do you have a recipe for that? A quick google yields nothing involving green beans for me... And peanuts and coconut being 2 of my favourite things as well as loving thai food I feel this is something I need to try!

                                                    1. re: Xantha

                                                      Funny, I'm googling around too and don't see green beans in the recipes. My wonderful Thai restaurant serves it up with green beans. It's really good!!
                                                      I wonder if others get green beans with penang? Now it's going to bug me!
                                                      Basically, I combine red curry paste, low fat coconut milk and peanut butter. Sometimes I add fish sauce, a bit of chili oil and corriander. Depends what I have on hand.
                                                      Stir fry up onions, garlic, ginger, the beans and shrimp/chicken and toss with the sauce and Thai basil.
                                                      Serve over rice with cilantro and crushed peanuts.
                                                      It's probably a somewhat bastardized version, but I love it.

                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                        Panang is one of my go-to Thai dishes, but I've never had it with green beans. But it does sound delicious. I'll have to try that on my own once I pick up paste and shrimp. Thanks for the idea!

                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                          Maybe Prik Khing is what you were thinking of?

                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                            Using green beans in a Thai curry is one of my favorite ways to prepare them as well. They work best in a red, green, or panang--not so much in a yellow curry. I prepare exactly like monavano said. I just add the green beans in toward the end of the stewing/cooking, so they remain crisp and retain much of their vitamin content.

                                                      2. Make a a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil , salt, pepper, a touch of sugar, red pepper flakes, chopped scallions, fresh mint, fresh sweet basil, fresh flat leaf parsley and fresh oregano. The vinaigrette should be fairly acidic- maybe 2 parts vinegar to 1 part oil, instead of the standard ratio.

                                                        Cut your favorite tomatoes/cherry tomatoes in half and add to the vinaigrette. Add cubes of fresh mozzarella cheese if you'd like.

                                                        Trim green beans and cut into bite-size pieces. Blanch beans in salted water till tender but still bright green. Shock in ice water, drain well, and while slightly warm, toss into the tomato/cheese mixture. Let sit for at least 1 hour to have the flavors meld.

                                                        I'm addicted to this salad this summer!

                                                        1. I like this recipe:

                                                          You can also do a pork and green bean stir fry (paraphrased from CI
                                                          )1/2 lb pork tenderloin cut in matchsticks, marinate for a few minutes in
                                                          2 tsp soy sauce and 2 tsp sherry.
                                                          Whisk together 1 T. sherry, 1/3 c chicken broth, 3 T oyster sauce, 1 t sesame oil, 1 t rice vinegar, 1 t cornstarch.
                                                          Stir fry pork in veg oil and set aside. Stir fry 1 lb green beans in veg oil for about 5 min and add to pork in bowl. Stir fry a diced red pepper in veg oil for a couple of minutes. Clear center of skillet and add 2 tsp minced garlic and 2 T minced ginger in a little oil, cook until fragrant and mix in with pepper. Add pork and beans back to skillet and whisk sauce and add. Cook until bubbly and thickened, about a minute. Add sliced scallions.

                                                          1. olive oil, garlic, salt. Roast in oven.

                                                            Or dunk in batter and fry.

                                                            1. Vaguely thai curry. Saute the beans with a chopped jalapeno and your choice of other veggies (diced potatoes or eggplant, tomato, onion, whatever you've got on hand). Add some water to the pan and cook off, letting veggies brown somewhat. Add some low fat coconut milk to your desired level of soupiness. Mix in a large handful of thai basil and serve. Over rice if you want.

                                                              I've also done a drier version with mexican crema and water instead of coconut milk.

                                                              1. I love them added to cold sesame noodles, steamed lightly.

                                                                1. I just remembered a recipe in one of the garden cookbooks from the 80s for green bean hummus. It's ideal for beans that are kind of big. Your beans might be too young for this recipe. Here's one that looks similar to what I've made in the past.

                                                                  1. I don't have any awesome recipes for just green beans, except the ever popular green bean casserole, but you have probably eaten tons of that already (I would! Though if you haven't tried it yet, make it with Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic and it gives it an even tastier flavor!) I love green beans in stir fry because they keep their snap. Also, they go really well in any pasta casserole that you throw together, I added them in the other night when I had nothing planned and just tossed some things together with pasta, they add a new flavor that's surprisingly tasty!