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In Season: Wax Beans

Everyday Food, July/August 2010

The Basics

Wax beans, which are pale yellow in color, are a type of snap bean with a slightly mild flavor, similar to green beans. They are at the peak of their season from late July to late September.

Buying and Storing

Look for crisp beans that snap when you break them. They should be free of wrinkles, bruises, and spots. The pods should be smooth with a slight green tinge at the tips, indicating that they are young and tender. Bumps that outline the seeds inside are a sign that the beans are overly mature and will be tough. Trim the stem ends and wash beans before using. Store them at room temperature, in a well-ventilated spot, up to 2 days, or refrigerate, loosely

To Use and Cook

Wax beans are great raw or cooked. Try them steamed and topped with fresh breadcrumbs or dressed with a vinaigrette. They can be roasted with a little olive oil, or boiled briefly and tossed with butter. They're also great raw in salads with cooked tuna or salmon, or served with a creamy herb dip. Swap green beans for wax in any of the recipes that follow.

Recipes