Fresh green beans can be a healthy, easy and nutritious side dish for just about any meal. Here’s how you can go about preparing and cooking them. Picture: Supplied
Fresh green beans can be a healthy, easy and nutritious side dish for just about any meal. Here’s how you can go about preparing and cooking them. Picture: Supplied

How to prepare green beans

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Mar 12, 2020

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Green beans are a delicious vegetable with a crunchy texture and fine flavour. 

We spoke to chefs to share tips on how to prepare and cook the vegetable, and below is what they said. 

Fresh green beans can be a healthy, easy and nutritious side dish for just about any meal. Here’s how you can go about preparing and cooking them. Picture: Supplied

Theo Mannie - Executive Culinary Artist at the Granny Mouse Country House and Spa

  • Wash the beans under running cold water. Bunch the beans together and trim the ends off with a chef’s knife. 

  • Bunch together using your chef’s knife, push the beans so that the tips of all roots are against the blade. Slice straight through ensuring that you get all the roots.

  • Wash the beans under cold running water and allow the water to drip away in a colander.

  • Blanch the beans for 30 seconds in rapidly salted boiling water.

  • Remove and put them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Strain in a colander.

  • Cook in a heavy-based pan, place about a tablespoon of butter and melt on medium heat. Add the beans and cook the beans through adding salt and pepper at the end.

Fresh green beans can be a healthy, easy and nutritious side dish for just about any meal. Here’s how you can go about preparing and cooking them. Picture: Supplied

Qhawe Tshabalala – Executive Chef at Royal Palm Hotel

  • Wash the beans. Transfer the beans to a colander and rinse them under running water. To remove dirt and other particles, you can rub the beans with your fingers while the water is running. Turn off the water and give the colander a shake to remove excess water. Transfer the beans to a clean tea towel and pat them dry.

  • Don’t chop the green beans for side dishes. Green beans can be cooked in a variety of ways, including stir-fries, sautéed, steamed, and more. When you're cooking green beans like this as a side dish or snack, you can leave the stemmed beans whole to help preserve more of their sweetness and crispness.

  • Chop the beans for adding to other dishes. When you're adding beans to other dishes, such as soups, salads, casseroles, it’s best to chop the beans into bite-sized pieces first. Line up a batch of beans on a cutting board and chop the beans into pieces that are 2.5 cm long.

Fresh green beans can be a healthy, easy and nutritious side dish for just about any meal. Here’s how you can go about preparing and cooking them. Picture: Supplied

Ashley Conquest - Executive chef at Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel

  • Wash fresh green beans thoroughly in clear, cool water. Lift beans from the wash water and leave garden debris behind. Rinse again. Break off or with a scissor snip off the ends (the top and tail) as you wash them.

  • If you've just cooked a piece of steak, pork, chicken, or fish, take advantage of the pan drippings and sauté the beans right in the same pan while your protein rests. 

  • Roasting green beans is a great way to concentrate their flavour. When cooked this way, they're more than just a great plated side dish, serve them as a healthier alternative to french fries or on an appetizer platter with a creamy dip.


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