Sunshine Beans

Share this post

By Heidi Lewis

Do you remember the I Love Lucy episode where  Lucy is so hungry that she nicks a piece of fruit from a  centerpiece only to discover that it’s a wax apple? She careens around the  room in a mime’s distress with the apple stuck in her mouth, wide eyes,  and eyelashes flapping “S.O.S”? In our west coast TakeHome cases this week are  yellow wax beans; be assured they have nothing to do with wax. There’s  no clear etymology on where the term “wax” came from—perhaps their  sunny beeswax color. Maybe the Friends of the Wax Bean Society should  lobby for a name change—like sunshine beans.

Wax beans are edible pod beans. They belong to the genus Phaseolus in  the family Fabaceae—of legume and pea fame. Beans of the wax variety  are sometimes known as snap, string, runner, or French beans. They’ve  been developed so we can eat the whole pod; the seeds are small and  soft. Wax beans are just like green beans in every way but without the  chlorophyll—so they have a less of a “green” taste. At only 31 calories per  cup, these sunny beans make a great snack and are high in bioavailable  nutrients. Wax bean side dishes are in a lot of European cuisines, some  with delicious mustard or herbed butter sauces.

Wax beans are a great leading character in salads, including salad Nií§oise:  blanched and chilled wax beans, boiled potatoes, hard-cooked eggs,  tomatoes, canned tuna, anchovies, olives, and capers. A little vinaigrette,  and voilí —you’ll have a delicious entrée salad that’s just perfect for when  you hear the front door open and “Lucy, I’m home!” ring out.

Preparation: Julia Child recommends breaking off the ends with fingertips  and leaving whole or cut to 2 ½ inches. Rinse them with hot water and  steam for 3–5 minutes. Taste for doneness and stop the cooking with a  dunk in ice water.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag to avoid moisture loss (crisper drawer  is best). Use within five 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:

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
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 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.