Seasonal Chef: Enjoying Pole Beans


Pole beans have hit the farmers market in a very big way these past two weeks. Bright green, yellow, purple and a wide flat green variety called Romano are making a splash with customers, including me. Pole beans are long and thin, and true to their name, grow staked up on poles. They are high in vitamins K, C, manganese and fiber. Pole beans will keep for about a week in the crisper bin of your ‘fridge, in a produce bag, or easily frozen for later use. Fresh and crisp pole beans can be eaten raw, lightly blanched, sautéed or fried. Anyway you look at it, pole beans are the bomb!

This week I used the thin flat variety called Romano, sent to me from Gaia’s Breath Farm, in by farm share box. I cooked them in just about the easiest way possible: blanched and mixed with a nice grain.

After a good rinse nip off the stem end and slice them in 1-2” pieces. Bring a small pot of water to boil and add in a tablespoon of kosher salt. (You want a little extra salt to carry over to cook your grains.) Boil for one minute only.

blanching beans

Scoop them out and into an ice bath. This is called “shocking,” a step that helps stop the cooking process and keeps your bean crisp-tender.

cooking grains

To the boiling water add in your favorite grain. I used farro, but you could easily use rice, quinoa or freekeh. Follow the package instructions on cook time.

While your grain is cooking drain the beans and set aside. In a large bowl make a simple vinaigrette using sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Your measurement should be one-part vinegar to two-parts oil plus kosher salt and ground black pepper. I generally estimate a ¼ cup of vinaigrette for every two cups of cooked grain.

Pole bean and farro

Once your grain is cooked add it to the mixing bowl. Toss well; the warm grains will soak up the vinaigrette. Give it a taste and add additional seasoning or vinaigrette as desired. Then add in your beans and serve. This pole bean dish could not be simpler and a perfect side for any lunch or dinner main course.

On Saturday September 6 you will find me demoing at the Bronxville Farmers Market from 11:00 am to 1:00. Stop by to taste some delicious pole beans.

Buon Appetito!

One year ago: Tomatoes
Two years ago: Bell Peppers





About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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