One of the BEST things about living in the country is the availability of dirt in which to plant my own fresh produce. I love gardening, and every year I plant more than enough veggies to feed an army. The hubster keeps telling me to cut back on the planting and make my life easier, but when those seed catalogs find their way into my mailbox during the cold months of winter I start dreaming of all the wonderful veggies that could be popping up come summertime.
And this year was no exception. Typically, I plant a bush bean variety called “Contender” and I’ve had great results, usually putting up 52 quarts during the season before pulling the plants. But this year, a purple variety caught my eye. These Royalty Purple Pod Bush Beans looked gorgeous and since I was in the mood to experiment, I purchased a package to try in the garden.
One of the best things about these beans is that they are super easy to find on the plant come pickin’ time! No rummaging through the camouflage of green leaves for beans. These little beauties pop right out against the green background. And they taste good, too.
I haven’t had the best luck with them this year, but my contenders aren’t doing as well as usual either. We’ve had an exceptionally strange year weather-wise along with the rest of the country. In late spring, we were nearly washed away with all the rain, so the beans went in later than usual and just this past week the extreme humidity caused the heat index to reach 117 degrees. (Yes, you read that RIGHT…117!) So, I’m not giving up on them yet. We’ve been eating them fresh from the garden and canning a few here and there, but I’m sharing our favorite way to eat fresh beans with you today.
I was browsing for recipes online and came across one similar to this. It’s fast, easy, and so versatile. I’ve tried it with butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, and all work well. I’ve also made a larger batch and a smaller batch and typically just eyeball all the ingredients. It’s that easy! This is basically the only way my husband will eat fresh beans now, and with the ease of preparation, I really don’t mind!
Oh, and if you’re wondering why the beans in the pan are all green, it’s because the purple ones turn green when cooked. Not as pretty, but certainly still tasty! On a side note, try to choose beans that are all the same size. Mine range in size, but needed to be used. Using beans of similar size will result in more even cooking of your beans and prevent smaller ones from overbrowning.
- 2-3 Tbsp butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
- 1½ lbs fresh green beans, washed and snapped
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Wash, stem, and snap green beans.
- Preheat a large, non-stick skillet to medium heat. Add butter or oils and heat until melted.
- Add green beans, salt, and pepper to skillet and toss to coat.
- Sauté beans, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until almost cooked through. Beans should be crisp and tender. Taste test one to determine doneness. Add 1-2 more minutes of cooking time if still firm. (Young, tender beans will not take as long to cook.)
- Add the sliced almonds and cook for 2-3 minutes more, or until almonds are toasted. (They will have a nice, nutty aroma when ready.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.