Get The Most Out of Your Bush Beans from Backyard Eats
Harvesting Bush Beans
When It’s Ready
- Pick bush beans when they are pencil size and tender
- Pick bush beans before the seeds inside form bumps on the pod
- Harvest regularly to encourage production
When It’s Too Late
- When the pod begins to bulge with seeds
- When the pod appears to be drying or losing moisture
- If you allow pods to ripen fully, the plants will stop producing and die
- Pinch off bush beans using your thumbnail and fingers
- Pulling directly on the pods may uproot the plants
- Cut off and discard any overly mature beans you missed in previous harvests
- Weekly harvests will be bountiful once the plant matures, then lessen as the weather grows colder
Growing Bush Beans
Bush beans – a type of green beans – have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a crisp texture. They are a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways, including steaming, boiling, sautéing, roasting, and stir-frying. They make a great addition to many meals.
Storing Bush Beans
Wash and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Serve, freeze, can, or pickle the beans the day you harvest them to preserve their fresh, homegrown flavor.
Cooking With Bush Beans
- Sautéed Bush Beans: Heat olive oil or butter in a skillet, add trimmed and halved bush beans, and sauté until they are crisp-tender. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs like thyme or rosemary for a simple and delicious side dish.
- Green Bean Salad: Blanch or steam trimmed bush beans until they are bright green and crisp. Toss them with cherry tomatoes, red onion, and a tangy vinaigrette. Add some feta cheese or toasted almonds for extra flavor and texture.
- Roasted Bush Beans: Spread trimmed bush beans on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your choice of seasonings (such as garlic powder or smoked paprika). Roast in the oven until they become slightly caramelized and tender.
- Green Bean Stir-Fry: Heat a wok or large skillet, add trimmed bush beans, and stir-fry them with other colorful vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas. Season with soy sauce or a stir-fry sauce of your choice for a quick and nutritious stir-fry.
- Green Bean Casserole: Combine blanched or steamed bush beans with creamy mushroom sauce and top with crispy fried onions. Bake until the casserole is bubbly and the onions are golden brown. This classic dish is perfect for potlucks and holiday gatherings.