French Beans, sometimes known as green beans, fresh beans or haricots verts, also come in white and purple.
When eaten young, with small inner beans, they are crunchy, sweet and delicious.
When more mature, they provide dried beans, a valuable source of protein.
- Choose beans while they're still firm, rather than limp and rubbery.
Thinner beans are more popular for eating with the pod than larger beans.
If your pods are too large, you might not want to eat them as they can be tough and stringy. In this case, just cook the beans instead.
For pods with very large beans, these can be dried and stored for use later in the season. (In this case, they'll need overnight soaking and then boiling for up to an hour before eating).
- Best not picked until you need them, if you're growing your own.
If you get them in your veg box or from a farm shop or farmers' market, they'll keep for about 3-5 days in the salad compartment of the fridge.
Aside: Get them out of season from a supermarket and they're already 3 days old when they get off the plane, yet they last another week in your fridge. How do they do that???
Top and tail the beans and then boil for 5-8 minutes, until tender.
Serve as they are as a side dish
Toss in a little butter or olive oil and sprinkle with flaked almonds
Mix with boiled potatoes, flaked tuna, black olives and vinaigrette for a Salade Nicoise
More French Beans Information
Traditional green "French beans" are the most common. However, white waxpod beans and even purple beans are becoming common features of veg boxes.
It is believed that "French Beans" originated in Peru and didn't reach Europe until the 16th Century.
All colours are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
The true haricots verts are harvested young and thin.
Did you know...?
Purple beans turn green when cooked - sorry!
Mediterranean Grean Bean Salad This salad is simple to make and packed with flavour. Using the earliest French beans of the season makes it a delicious treat. Feta, pine nuts and the dressing give a Mediterranean feel. Ingredients
- 300g French (green) beans
- 100g Feta cheese
- Handful of pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Top and tail the French beans
- Boil them for 3-6 minutes, until just tender (depends on their size)
- Mix together the parsely, olive oil and lemon juice
- Drain the beans and mix with the sauce
- Serve the beans topped with crumbled Feta cheese and a few of the pine nuts
- French Beans With Almonds
Toasting the almonds brings out the nuttiness of their flavour and adds a delicious twist to French beans.
- Mediterranean Grean Bean Salad
This salad is simple to make and packed with flavour. Using the earliest French beans of the season makes it a delicious treat. Feta, pine nuts and the dressing give a Mediterranean feel.
- Seasonal Veggie Casserole with Mushrooms, Nuts, Rice and Chickpeas
This recipe is SO delicious, AND it’s vegan. Double bubble!
- Spring Pasta
Cooking spring / early summer vegetables lightly and serving them with pasta is a delicious way to enjoy the first signs of summer. This recipe is quick and easy and only uses one pan – always a bonus...
- Spring Vegetable Fricassee
This dish is easy to make and browning the finished dish under a grill turns it into something special. You can use a variety of seasonal veggies, so try out whatever’s around. The vegetables suggested here are just a starting point!
- Three Bean Summer Soup
This is a delicious summer soup. Lighter than those of winter, it makes the most of the new season’s vegetables, whilst still filling you up and being wonderfully warming. You can use haricot beans or butter beans for this recipe, depending which you prefer. The main thing is to stick to what’s in season with the vegetables. That way they’ll be packed with flavour – and good for you too!
Got one? Send us your recipe!
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