For eating, if they are small you can cook them in water or oil until they turn bright green; they are still crunchy that way but delicious. If they are larger you can sauté them with a bit of onion or green pepper and/or garlic for a longer period of time until they turn more of an olive green and are very tender. Adding a touch of rosemary is often nice with beans.
When I freeze mine I don't blanch them; you don't have to do that with green beans. I just cut them to the size I like and stick them in a pint freezer bag and then into the freezer. Sometimes I weigh them so that each bag is approximately the same size, and of course I put dates on the bags. I still have some from last year so I'll have to use those up first.
Now I don't know what I did wrong then. I tried freezing w/o blanching and they were awful - stringy and gooshy at the same time. I blanch mine before freezing.
Do you want recipes? We're getting 4-5lbs every other day from our bush & pole beans. I've found that cutting them into 1-2" pcs, tossing with olive oil and thinly sliced shallots, then roasting in a hot oven 'til they are slightly browned on the outside is a crowd pleaser. I've made several times now and they always go fast. To take them up a notch, add some Parmesan cheese shavings when they are hot out of the oven & add sea salt or kosher salt.
Tammy, maybe it's the variety, then. I do Fortex mostly. Were yours super fresh? I do mine right after I pick them.
I have a book on dealing with garden bounty and it rates various methods of preserving them, like freezing, canning, drying or root-cellaring. With beans it specifically says that they are one of the veggies that you can just freeze as is without blanching. I had tried it myself anyway before I read that, because a friend said that's what she did and I'm always eager for ways to save time and trouble. The next year I blanched some and didn't blanch others just to see, and I really couldn't tell the difference.
It was quite a while ago. I was not careful about harvest so maybe they were over ripe? I will give it another try 'cause it would sure be easier just to clean, cut and freeze! I have quite a few blanched in the freezer so will put a few batches in straight w/o blanching, properly labelled and we'll do a proper caparison test. :-)
I have also been making pasta dishes with green beans (and broccoli,red peppers etc) making a light sauce with fresh tomatoes. I sure love this time of year!
When I harvest my green beans I give the ones that are bumpy, with well-developed seeds inside, to my pup, who adores them. I've been trying to pick fairly faithfully so I don't get many of those but there are always a few. But if I want to save the big ones they're great cooked for a while with a bit of tomato sauce and some tarragon. Or else with bacon fat or a bit of ham and/or garlic and/or onions. I like to save the olive oil we use to fry long sweet peppers and garlic for sandwiches with provolone, and that oil is great for cooking beans.
Green beans (both pole and bush) are the best producers in my garden so I've found many uses for them. Tiny, tender raw beans are great in salads or on a veggie platter. Sliced, cooked and topped with toasted almonds is a nice way to use them as well as tossed into almost any soup or casserole. Dilly beans (uncooked beans processed in a simple vinegar and water brine) are my family's favorite way to preserve the bounty! I've also had good luck using some of the late season beans that got too big before I noticed them! At the end of the season I would leave them on the plant until the beans looked fat and the outer skin started to dry (or the frost was threatening.) Then I would either shell them, cook them gently and eat them right away as fresh 'shell beans' or once they were fully dried I'd shell them and use them like dried beans to bake or add to soups or save them to plant the next season.
greenhouse_gal - last summer I didn't blanch Fortex beans before freezing them and had the same experience as Tammy. They were so awful, I tossed them into the compost bin. This summer I blanched the beans, and they have tasted just like fresh-picked.
Honeybee, maybe I have different expectations, but I really can't tell the difference between beans I've blanched and beans I haven't, and several books and websites list snap beans as one vegetable that doesn't require blanching. After they're frozen I don't try to sauté them lightly; I tend to cook them longer. But the ones I freeze aren't the little thin ones anyway, since it's hard for me to catch enough at that stage to do whole bags of them.
To blanch green beans or not? Had so many last year and not enough time so I took a chance and froze them without blanching. Used the Food Saver and they are perfect nearly 1 year later. Just took the last bag out of the freezer to use before I started freezing this years crop and they were like just picked...so good I ate them raw. Freezers are different and the defrost cycle on self defrosting models tend to deteriorate foods more quickly no matter how they were prepared.
tender whole Green beans cooked with a halfed onion, done to your liking - drain, remove onion and let cool,add canned chick beans (garbanzola) thinly slicedred onion, chopped dill or rosemary, use your fav salad dressing or vinaigrette.
Green bean soup: cut more mature beans into 1-1/2" pieces, saute w chopped onion, chopped celery,carrot cut into pennies, whole cubanelle, chopped parsley. when irridescent add chicken stock cubed peeled potato and simmer til tender. Add rice or orzo or soup noodles at appropriate cooking time.Remmove green pepper
This I love: cook string beans that were cut into pieces with halfed onion, again remove oinion, drain beans.
1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 mix in 2T wondra and finely chopped dill. Cook beans in this until sauce is thickened, add 1T sugar salt and pepper to taste. Nice with roast or cutlets of any kind. This for about one and1-2 lb of beans.
beans and set asside. make a medley of sliced onion,tomato,garlic, parsley and basil, salt and pepper, cook to desired doneness,add cooked beans stir, now add a pinch of sugar.
forgot pickled beans: not the youngest, not with the beans showing.pretty much uniform.
1/3 c vinegar, 2/3 c of distilled water, salt and sugar brine to taste, sprig of fresh dill. Can in mason jars, wonderful in winter as a bean salad.
I am somewhat surprised that folks still boil so many of their vegetables. In soups and stews that's fine, of course - much of the flavor goes into the liquid, which is exactly what is intended. But otherwise, the flavor (not to mention the nourishment!) goes down the drain with the water and the vegetables are relatively bland. Steaming vegetables preserves that flavor , and it's actually easier than boiling and much less likely to overcook or scorch! Spinach, for example, retains all its wonderfulo flavor with no bitterness and is not soggy!Vdgdtab;es need not be drained in a colander or sieve, and their is no fear of diluting sauces, etc.