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French beans are smaller than common green beans and have a soft, velvety pod. Quite fleshy for their size, only tiny seeds inhabit these delicate pods. French beans are sweet, tender and wonderfully crispy. French beans are delicious. The tasty beans are picked while still small and when cooked that size they taste out of this world. French beans generally grow as a bush, which grows twelve to twenty inches tall depending upon the variety you decide to grow. However there are some varieties that climb similar to runner beans, these varieties grow up to seven foot tall.
Blanched french beans
Wash French beans thoroughly in cold water. Chop them as desired - thinly, thickly, julienne or diagonally cut. Boil some water in a pan. Add a pinch of salt and soda for it will help it cook faster and retain the colour too. Boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and strain it. To enhance its colour, it can be immersed in cold water for another 5 mins and then drained again.
Boiled french beans
Wash french beans thoroughly in cold water. Chop them as desired. Boil some water in a pan. Add a pinch of salt and soda for it will help it cook faster and retain the colour too. Boil for 10 mins. Remove from heat and strain it. To enhance its colour, it can be immersed in cold water for another 5 mins and then drained again.
Chopped french beans
Chop the pointed edges from both the ends. Chop ingredients by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger, and if the recipe calls for chopped and boiled or blanched french beans, chop the french beans as mentioned earlier and blanch of boil them and use further as the recipe calls for.
Diagonally cut and blanched french beans
String the beans and wash thoroughly in cold water and drain. Place them on a chopping board and slice them diagonally into about 5 cm.strips or as per your recipe requirement.
Boil some water with salt in a deep-pan. Boil the beans for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans and plunge them in ice cold water, it will stop the cooking process and help retain the bright green color. Drain and use as required.
French bean cubes
Dice or cube ingredients by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes").
How to Select
Sliced french beans
Removing the edges, slice them using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly into strips as the recipe requirement. You can even parboil sliced french beans.
Always look for the youngest, brightest and freshest looking beans that have crisp pods. Choose beans while they're still firm, rather than limp and rubbery. Thinner beans are more popular for eating with the pod than larger beans.Culinary Uses
· Ideal for cooking, French beans can be prepared whole by themselves or in a variety of savory dishes.
· Simply stir fried beans with butter are a relish. Enjoy them with almonds, garlic, tomatoes, or goat cheese.
· Tiny, tender, and bright green, they are the perfect compliment to Chinese dishes and pasta.
· Try French beans as a substitute for your favorite green bean recipe or simply blanched with butter and seasonings.
· Cook and eat as soon as you can to preserve texture, flavour and goodness.
· French Beans are one of the most commonly eaten green beans in India.
· Most Indian households make French beans as a dry vegetable either with cubed potatoes or without them.
· Toasting the almonds brings out the nuttiness of their flavour and adds a delicious twist to French beans.
· Cooking spring / early summer vegetables lightly and serving them with pasta is a delicious way to enjoy the first signs of summer. This recipe is quick and easy and only uses one pan - always a bonusHow to Store
French beans should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for 1 to 2 weeks. Choose beans bright and crisp for freshness.Health Benefits
· French beans contain phosphorus, vitamins A, B, D and starch, much iron, which aid blood cells production.
· Vitamin B in them benefits the spleen and kidneys.
· They help to alleviate swelling stomach, bad appetite, premature ejaculation, and frequent urination.
· French beans are neutral in nature and can be consumed frequently.