Green Beans (also known as String Beans and Snap Beans) are harvested while still young (hence the ‘green’ in their name) thus the bean pods are tender and edible. Green beans can come in a range of hues; from yellow to purple to mottled cream and russet.
Storage and Selection: Beans should break crisply when bent. Choose pods that are smooth, uniformly colored and free from wrinkling or bruising. Store beans in a ventilated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Culinary Uses: Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to incorporate into everything from soups to sides. The best way to cook beans for most uses is to boil them in plenty of salted water for 4-7 minutes, depending on the size of the bean and whether they are whole, halved or sliced. Before cooking, remove strings if they are present. Trim the ‘top’ end of each bean (where it is attached to the plant).
Beans can also be roasted whole. Trim them, then toss is generous amounts of olive oil and roast in a 350 degree oven, in a single layer in a roasting pan. They will take 20 minutes to cook.
Information from: The Produce Bible by Leanne Kitchen