Preserving summer green beans.

I love growing green beans in my garden. For one thing, the seedlings emerge within just a few days. (Remember those grade-school science projects with sprouting bean seeds?) And the plants mature to production fairly quickly compared to other summer produce. I can do several successive plantings and have fresh garden-grown green beans from mid-July through fall.

I’m rather particular about my green beans; rather than the Blue Lake pole beans commonly found at farmers’ markets (which I find tough and stringy), I prefer the French or filet varieties, whose slender, deep green pods are tender and sweet. And I like to pick them on the small side. All these beans need is a quick go-round in a hot pan with some olive oil (or bacon!), salt and pepper.

Right now, I’m picking more garden green beans than we can eat within a couple of days. So I am putting them up so we can enjoy them over the winter.

Green beans are incredibly easy to preserve:

  1. Rinse and trim the stem ends (to make this easy, stack a handful of green beans so that the stems line up, and cut them off with a sharp knife).
  2. Bring a pan of unsalted water to a boil; a wide, shallow skillet works well. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  3. Blanch the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes.
  4. Immediately transfer the beans to the bowl of ice water; submerge to stop the cooking and cool them for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the cooled green beans to a clean kitchen towel to dry.
  6. Transfer beans to a parchment-lined baking sheet (you can stack several layers) and freeze them until they’re firm, about 1 hour.
  7. Transfer the beans to quart-size freezer bags; mark the date on the bag.

Later, I’ll take my preserved green beans out of the freezer about a half hour before I want to cook them. I’ll give them a quick (5 minutes or so) sauté in some olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Summer, in winter.

2 thoughts on “Preserving summer green beans.

  1. I never have any luck freezing veggies…they never seem to freeze right. Love green beans…been wanting to preserve some, but I will have to try canning them as I don’t have enough freezer space.

  2. Pingback: 10 dishes you MUST try before summer’s gone. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen