Kitchen Tip #1: Purple Green Beans

Green Beans

I’m excited to introduce a new series on the blog: Kitchen Tips! These are not recipes per se, but suggestions of how to use your veggies in ways you may not have considered. For my first post in this series, let’s talk about purple green beans.

Cut beans

These showy legumes are one of the great joys of summer produce. Their contrasting deep purple outside and bright green inside are a delight to look upon. What a disappointment though when they hit the pan or pot of boiling water and seconds later the purple has completely disappeared only to be replaced with a drab green.

And so, I present to you Kitchen Tip #1: eat your purple green beans raw.

Close up beans

Slice your purple green beans on a bias and you get the best show. Flashy purples and greens can now take center stage on the plate. The icing on the cake? Their sweet crunch adds fantastic texture to any salad or side dish. This week at home, I sautéed up their yellow and green cousins with some tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Once they were done and on the platter, I topped them off with raw purple beans and some oregano flowers from the garden. Voila! Dinner was served.

Green beans two ways

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How to Shell Fava Beans

Fava Beans

Fava beans are a great spring treat if you’re willing to put in the hard work to enjoy them. There are three parts to a Fava bean: the pod (fondly called the sleeping bag by some chefs), the husk, and the bean. You need to remove the beans from the pods and the husks in order to enjoy these sweet, meaty beans. So, here’s what you need: a pot of boiling water, a bowl of ice water, and your very own nimble fingers.

First, you’ll want to unzip the sleeping bags. In other words, pull the string from the blossom end to the tip of the pod just like you would with a string bean or snap pea. Next, open up the pod and remove all the beans inside.

Once you’ve removed the beans from the pod, you’ll need to blanch them in the boiling water for 30 seconds. When the time is up, pour the beans into a colander then promptly place them in the ice water to stop them from cooking.

After the beans have cooled, use your fingernail to gently break open the husk, give a gentle squeeze, and out will pop the bean! Voila!

Once you’ve shelled all your Fava beans, sauté them with some butter and salt. You can serve them as a side veg or gently mash them and smear them on toast with a squeeze of lemon! Enjoy!