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French Beans are delicious either boiled or steamed, those are the two basic cooking methods. We have also used them regularly in a couple of other ways, a simple saute in butter (which really is delicious) and also as soup. But when we came started exploring how other people cook their French Beans the range of methods was truly astonishing. The probable reason for this is that French Beans are grown the world over and have been assimilated into many different cuisines in the process.

Before cooking French Beans wash them and cut off both ends because they are slightly tough.

BOILING FRENCH BEANS


French Beans can be boiled lightly for eight to ten minutes to cook them through without making them mushy. If you want to add salt do this at the end of the cooking time to avoid toughening up the skins. If you are making gravy then the water used to boil the beans can be added to the gravy.

HOW TO STEAM FRENCH BEANS


You need a pan and a matching steaming basket to steam vegetables. Fill the base of the pan with a small amount of water (5cm / 2in) , bring to a low boil and place the beans in the basket and place the basket on top of the boiling pan.

On average, steam French Beans for about ten minutes although you may prefer slightly longer or shorter. The shorter the cooking time the more crunch the beans will keep.

MICROWAVING FRENCH BEANS


Prepare the French Beans (500g for four people as a side serving) by topping and tailing them. Place them in a microwave proof dish and add three tablespoons of water. Microwave on high for five minutes or until tender.

FRIED IN BUTTER


It's surprising how different the French Beans taste when fried in butter, just something slightly different from the standard cooking methods above. Lightly boil the French beans in water, take them off the heat and drain for a minute or so to remove the excess water. Heat a couple of knobs of butter in a frying pan, add the beans and fry for three or four minutes. Serve hot.

SALAD NICOISE


A recipe from heaven that has stood the test of time. Tuna, eggs, salad and French Beans all combine to make a delicious main meal salad which not only tastes delicious but all looks spectacular.
This is a traditional meal but even so different recipes suggest different ingredients.

Two recipes we have tried and recommend whole heatedly are the CookUK one which can be found here, or the Red Online one which can be found here.