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farmer jo 
serves up 
string beans
by Joanna Piatek | 1 2 3 4

Call them what you want — green beans, string beans, haricots verts, or snap beans. They’re all pretty much the same thing: utterly delicious. And now is the time to eat them. Whether you get your string beans at the supermarket or the farmer’s market — or are lucky enough to have access to some vines — take all you can eat.

Recently, I’ve started reading about the Slow Food Movement. The Slow Food Movement espouses a return to fresh dishes, made from local ingredients, and served during long, leisurely meals. Though I unfortunately don’t always have time to enjoy a leisurely meal, the Slow Food cooking theory has a lot common with the goals that I’ve set for this column and myself.

Some of the major players in the SFM are fresh vegetables. And green beans are the ultimate fast-growing, slow food. Once the green bean season begins, these beans grow like wild fire. Just a few days ago I made a trip to my family’s garden and picked the vines clean. Then this morning, I went over there again, to pick up some more green beans for the recipes I was experimenting with for this article -- and was shocked to see the vines once again dripping with long slender green pods. How does that happen? Maybe it has something to do with that magic bean of Jack’s.

The key to any great dish is to have great ingredients. Luckily, fantastic fresh green beans are easy to come across, and they’re inexpensive to boot, particularly now that they’re in season. When you’re choosing, look for small, slender beans that are firm to the touch. They should be so fresh that when bent in half, they break in a "snap". Avoid large, pale beans with developed seeds. These will be less sweet and rather tough as well.

mosey on this way please!


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