68 Ways to Use Fresh Green Beans You Grow in Your Garden
by Erin Marissa Russell
When you grow a family favorite like green beans in your garden, you’re bound to have plenty of standby recipes to rely on when it comes to cooking up even the biggest harvest—but once your family is sick and tired of your standard preparations, it’s time to scan this list of new options for some fresh ideas. That’s where Gardening Channel comes in. We’ve pored over the most popular and tasty-sounding recipes on the web for green beans to bring you this list of 68 new dishes starring green beans to try.
In addition to the satisfaction of getting your hands dirty and knowing exactly what goes into growing your veggies from start to finish, your family will also get to enjoy the bright flavor of homegrown green beans. Even better, you’ll actually save around $180 for every 10 green bean plants you tend in your garden (as compared to the pricey heirloom varieties in the supermarket).
Because homegrown green beans have so many advantages, savvy gardeners know that setting aside plenty of space for them in garden beds or growing green beans in containers is well worth the investment of time and effort. Read on for 68 inspiring ways to serve this popular legume to your family.
First, Master the Classic Preparation Techniques
Before getting too fancy with culinary creations made with your garden haul of green beans, you’ll first want to master the basic preparation methods. While often, we’re most accustomed to canned, boiled green beans (which are tasty enough in their own right), the approaches we’ve detailed here give you all the skills you need to create your own dishes featuring green beans, either solo or paired with whatever seasonings and other veggies you have on hand.
Roasted: You really can’t go wrong when it comes to roasting any vegetable. A simple drizzle of olive oil and a few shakes of salt and pepper are all it takes to elevate the humblest of veggies into a caramelized, savory treat. Reading over the options listed here is a surefire way to familiarize yourself with the basic technique and brainstorm some unexpected seasoning blends.
Sautéed: When you sauté garden-fresh green beans into a side dish, they come together quickly and retain their crisp texture and bright flavor. These recipes will get you started on the right track.
Blanched: Blanching permits the chef to cook green beans to vibrant, crisp perfection before submerging them in ice water to stop the residual heat from letting them get overdone. The result? A dish that tastes as fresh as you know your homegrown green beans are.
Grilled: The grill may not be the first cooking strategy you think of when you’re faced with a bushel of fresh green beans, but the charred, smoky result of this prep method may just change all that So when you’ve got the grill fired up for burgers, steaks, or sausages, harvest some green beans straight from the garden for a perfectly matched summertime side.
Steamed: All too often, steamed veggies are relegated, unwanted, to the edge of the plate, pushed around with a fork because they’re too bland to be appetizing. These recipes for steamed green beans fresh from the garden are here to change the lackluster stereotype.
Spoon Delectable Sauces Over Green Beans Harvested from Your Garden
For some of us in the kitchen, it’s all about the sauce. Green beans do particularly well served with sauces from the classics to less conventional choices. Peruse the options listed here to get the gears turning and start planning your next delicious green bean dish.
Celebrate Green Beans Straight from the Garden in Crisp, Fresh Salads
We’re so used to eating green beans as part of a casserole or simple cooked side that it’s easy to forget just how well these legumes do when they star in a refreshing salad. From the composed, formal Salade Niçoise to more freeform concoctions, don’t overlook salads—as sides or the main course—when you want to serve green beans.
Feature Green Beans in Family-Friendly Casseroles and More Comfort Foods
Nothing says “home” like a bubbling, savory dish of green bean casserole straight from the oven. If you’ve never made yours from scratch, The Pioneer Woman’s version is a must-try—or turn to Southern-Style Green Beans for slow-simmered beans flecked with salty bits of bacon. If you want more than just a bit of bacon, indulge in Green Bean Bacon Bundles. Whichever of the recipes below you choose, don’t count on leftovers.
Call on Cultures the World Over for Unexpected Flavors to Pair with Your Garden’s Green Beans
Sure, America has green beans down to a fine art, but plenty of other cuisines have their own ways of making these versatile legumes their own. When your favorite green bean dishes get boring, you can count on these preparations for a breath of fresh air.
While you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor (er, make that the veggies of your labor), don’t forget to congratulate yourself on just how healthwise it is to eat green beans. Good food, good fun, and good for you—what more could a gardener ask for?
Want to learn more about cooking with green beans?
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