Long ago and far away, scientists discovered a few rare new galaxies that they believed to be the echoes of light. Finders usually get naming rights and so these became Green Bean Galaxies, reportedly because of their greenish glow. Personally, I think what they found was the free-floating space debris of Jack’s beanstalk. Then again, I’m not a scientist.
yhose long skinny things we grow, cook and eat have many aliases, including pole, haricot vert, snap, runner, French, bush and plain ole green beans. The pods are the unripe fruit and the protective husks of beans commonly dried such as kidney, navy, black and pinto beans. Green beans, however, are frequently not green. Rather they may be purple, red, streaked, green or yellow. For unexplained reasons, the yellow, are called wax beans. Equally odd, those exotic looking purple ones turn green when cooked.
Many of the varietals closer to their DNA heritage are climbers, while the relatively new kids on the block are more likely to hug Terra Firma. Thought to be native to Peru, green beans were brought to Europe by the Spanish. Like the tomato, the green bean was originally planted as an ornamental in Europe, producing beautiful, purple, pink and white flowers on vines that could be trained up over gates, doors and fences. Eventually, the story goes, a bowl of seed pods on a windowsill were knocked into a pot of stew and the rest is history.
As with so many fresh grown food stuff, a light hand is best, leaving the flavor and the nutritional value intact. The web site contains many recipes for green beans, including: Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots, String Beans with Ginger and Garlic and Green Beans with Lemon and Pine Nuts. Today we’re offering a lighthearted String Beans in Orange Mint Dressing.