Fee Fi Fo Fum Beans

Share this post

Jack’s mother was mad, beet-red steaming mad. Jack  had sold Milky-White the cow for a handful of “magic”  beans — what a fool! She threw the beans out the window and sent Jack to  bed without supper. We know the rest of the story. A giant beanstalk grew  outside the window providing the mother and son with an abundance of fresh  green beans that they cooked in various ways. Beans steamed with golden  carrot coins or in vinaigrette topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs from the  Golden Goose. Every day they picked beans until autumn when they felled  the giant stalk into their garden, where it continued to provide nitrogen for  their compost. They lived happily ever after.

Bean plants are magical in that they are great providers. The pre-Columbian  people domesticated Phaseolus vulgaris. Green beans are edible pod or string beans, as opposed to shell beans like  fava or edamame. And different from dry beans, from which we get an array  of legumes such as pinto, kidney, or black beans.  Cornucopia: A Source Book of Edible Plants, by Stephen Facciola, lists 130  varieties of string (or snap) beans. Today most varieties are “string-less.”

Green  beans have just 44 calories in one cup. Beans are loaded with nutrients:  25% of RDA of vitamin K for strong bones, lots of vitamins C and A, plus potassium, manganese, and folates thrown in for good measure. No wonder we  see happy and fit green giants wandering the land.

Preparation: Wash beans and snip off the ends. They can be cut crosswise or  on an angle. For “French cut” beans, slice lengthwise into ribbons. Beans can  be steamed, boiled, or stir-fried. To steam, place beans in the steamer basket of a tightly covered pot with one inch of water. Cook only 3–5 minutes,  remove, then stop the cooking by dunking the beans in ice water. Drain and  dry on a cloth. Cooked beans can be served hot with olive oil, lemon juice,  and sea salt or cold in a salad. The great French chef Escoffier said of string  beans: “The most exquisite of vegetables, but they must be prepared with  the greatest care. They are best when a little firm to the tooth, but without  exaggeration.”

Storage: Store unwashed green beans in a plastic bag or container in the  fridge (crisper drawer is best) for several days.

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Best onboarding practices
May 21, 2019
Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.