I don’t think I know a single gardener in our Grow Appalachia program that isn’t growing beans. Most of our gardeners are in fact growing lots and lots of beans. Many of these beans will be canned and frozen and are grown for exactly that reason, to get our families through the winter months when garden production is low or non-existent, however I hope each and every one of our gardeners saves a mess or two of beans to eat fresh this summer.

Fresh green beans are one of summer’s finest foods and they are more versatile than most people think, don’t get me wrong I am quite fond of boiled green beans, but a little variety and creativity in the kitchen can lead to great things. If you have fresh green beans and are in the market for some dinner ideas read on!

Note: Most of these recipes are best with young skinny green beans, they would work great with provider beans or with any green bean picked early before the beans fill in fully.

A quick and easy way that I often prepare green beans is simply to roast them in the oven. Break and string your beans toss them in olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper and stick them in the oven at 425° for 15- 20 minutes until they are just a bit browned and tender. Viola, you have an easy side dish prepared!

This list of 10 Ways to Enjoy Green Beans is a great starting point for some new ideas. The Potatoes, Green beans, and Corn in Lemon brown Butter sauce is a delicious way to combine summer staples to make a meal.

If you are looking for something a bit spicy and interesting this recipe for Thai Style Green Beans is next up on my list to cook.

Say what you may about Martha Stewart (we’ve referenced her before and probably will again) but I have always found her recipes to be fool proof and delicious.

This Green bean, Tomato, Olive and Egg dish is similar to a Nicoise salad and would make a great lunch or light dinner.

These Spicy pickled Green Beans might not make up a meal, but they are bound to be delicious!

And lastly for a new take on something a little more traditional, the Green Bean Casserole.

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Eat those beans!