Green beans aren’t always green.
The green bean, also called string bean or snap bean, proudly sports a rich palette that ranges from a deep plumy purple to mottled cream and rust. Haricot verts are the French alter ego for this lanky legume, which are picked when the pods are between one and two inches long. The green in green bean actually refers to the vegetable being immature at harvest and not the color of the pod. This bean is one of the only members of its family that is consumed fresh, and the only one that is eaten pod and all. Fresh beans should be crisp and snap easily when bent. Cullinarily speaking, however, they are a most versatile vegetable. Steamed, sautéed, roasted, shredded, hot, cold, battered and fried, fried as chips or as the foundation of a casserole, green beans can go with virtually any meal.
Certified organic Red Tomato green beans may be available at your local retailer.
Green beans, green or not, should be firm with no bruises or dents and have a skin like peach fuzz. Store washed beans in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag or container, for up to four days. Remove stems and side strings just before eating.