Storage and Preparation of Fresh Beans:
The quicker fresh beans, whole or shelled, are prepared, the better. If
they are to be stored, place them, unwashed, in a perforated plastic
bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and prepare them within a
day or two. The longer they are stored, the more sugar will be
converted to starch, resulting in a less lively vegetable. Some people
suggest rinsing the beans before refrigerating to keep them hydrated,
but I find this leads them to develop mold quickly.
Modern varieties of whole beans, including wax beans are bred to be
stringless and will need to have only the stem end removed. But if you
happen on stringy beans, any strings can be removed by carefully
drawing the stem along the seam. Very large green beans may have to
have both ends removed, or topped and tailed, removing strings along
both sides. Wash trimmed beans, drain, and then continue with the
Shell beans should be prepared just before serving. Open the shell by
pressing a thumbnail along the seam-it s pop open easily. Run a thumb
along the inside of the shell to loosen the beans and drop them into a
bowl. Once all the beans have been shelled, pick them over to remove
any that are brown or shriveled. Rinse the shelled beans and drain them
before continuing with the cooking.
Do not add lemon juice, vinegar, wine or
other acidic dressing to green beans until just before serving, the
acid will leach t he color and turn them an unappetizing gray color.