Get The Most Out of Your Pole Beans from Backyard Eats
Harvesting Pole Beans
When It’s Ready
- Pick green beans when they are pencil size, tender, and before the seeds inside form bumps on the pod.
- Harvest regularly and thoroughly to encourage production
- If you allow pods to ripen fully, the plants will stop producing and die.
When It’s Too Late
- When the pod begins to bulge with seeds and the pod appears to be drying or losing moisture, they are no longer very tasty.
- Pulling directly on the pods may uproot the plants. Instead, use scissors or pinch off beans using your thumbnail and fingers. Cut off and discard any overly mature beans you missed in previous pickings.
Growing Pole Beans
Pole 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 Pole 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 Pole Beans
- Green Bean Salad: Blanch or steam pole beans until crisp-tender, then toss them with cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, feta cheese, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. This salad showcases the fresh and vibrant flavors of pole beans.
- Sautéed Pole Beans: Heat olive oil in a pan, add trimmed pole beans, and sauté until they are tender and slightly charred. Season with minced garlic, salt, and pepper for a quick and flavorful side dish.
- Stir-Fried Pole Beans: Stir-fry pole beans with garlic, ginger, and your choice of other vegetables like bell peppers or mushrooms. Add soy sauce or a stir-fry sauce of your choice for a delicious and vibrant stir-fry.
- Grilled Pole Beans: Toss trimmed pole beans with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill until they are slightly charred and tender. Grilled pole beans offer a smoky flavor and make a great addition to summer BBQs or as a side dish for grilled meats.
- Pickled Pole Beans: Trim and blanch pole beans, then pickle them in a mixture of vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and spices. Let them marinate for a few days to develop tangy and pickled flavors. Pickled pole beans are a tasty and crunchy addition to salads, antipasto platters, or enjoyed as a snack.