Green Bean Dreams (With a Side of Bacon).

July 22nd, 2009

These are asparagus beans.


My father-in-law, Joe, has grown them for years, and he sent me some of his seeds in the Spring.



They frequently surpass a foot long, lengthening to eighteen inches and beyond.

I also grew some more traditional green beans, but the asparagus beans are half the effort and twice the food…




As they are so much easier to spot when it comes time to harvest them.




I have been cooking them in my grandmother’s pressure cooker with new potatoes, butter, salt and pepper, but I am on the prowl for a good ‘bacon and green beans’ recipe.  

Because, what is the point of a garden fresh bean without some garden fresh bacon?

If anyone has one, please send it my way!


  • jamoody:

    I’m so curious…do they taste like regular green beans? The asparagus part scares me (I am not a fan). And it looks like they are a pole bean????

  • Your sister is the one with the ‘garden fresh’ bacon! Call her.

    Do these taste like regular green beans? They look great! I once thought I’d plant a garden, then I remembered the weeding part and the never ending picking part and the plant early part and I changed my mind! But I need to come back and read these posts next March and MAYBE I’ll change my mind again.

  • Tish:

    Have you searched PW’s Tasty Kitchen site yet? I’ll bet someone has posted a bean and bacon recipe.

  • I remember my aunt growing these…or at least something similar. They were so huge! I might need to check some out for next year.

    And you better call your sister and place your order for some homegrown bacon!

  • Martha B:

    My mom’s recipe isn’t fancy, but tastes great with fresh beans. You boil and drain the beans. In another pan you fry cut up bacon.
    Then add the cooked bacon and just enough bacon grease to season the green beans. Salt and pepper to taste.

  • The other night I had green beans with a sprinkling of cranberries! Wow!! I thought it was really great and tastie!!

    But I don’t know how long you would need to cook the cranberries if you could get frozen ones. But it is another alternative to the bacon which is also great! How could you ruin anything with bacon??

  • Those are fabulous. Anything to make beans easier to find. I like to grow purple ones for that reason… and the flowers are purty.

  • Kathleen:

    This is how I make green beans & bacon, one of my favorites and something my family expects at parties! It was based on a recipie once-upon-a-time, but I’ve modified it somewhat.

    Place snipped, cut up green beans in a 2 quart saucepan with about 1/3 cup of water, 1 onion, diced, 1/2 stick of butter (yup, the original recipie called for a WHOLE stick), a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper and salt to taste. Bring to boil, then simmer until done to your taste. Fry up a generous amount of bacon (about 1/2 pound is good), crumble into the cooked beans and stir. The ideal is to have just enough liquid left in the pan so you don’t have to drain out any of the buttery goodness! Hope you enjoy them!

  • I do roughly the same as Kathleen except I use the saucepan to do the bacon first and then leave some of the grease in the pan while I boil the green beans. Then I don’t have to add butter and the bacon flavor gets all mixed in. I’m loving those beans… may have to hunt down seeds for those next year!

  • M.R.:

    No bacon recipes here, but I love green beans with pesto!

  • Rechelle:

    jamoody – they do not taste like asparagus. They are a little tougher than traditional green beans and have to be cooked a bit longer, but they taste the same other than that.

  • MyRich:

    Here is a popular recipe at our house: I don’t know if your boys are onion-eaters, but this is delicious!

  • My Mom used to use bacon grease and bacon in cooked spinich (sp?). It was delicious especially with vinegar,too. When she made fresh green beans she added salt pork instead. She also would add fresh corn from the cob and potatoes. She called it succotash and of course creamed the broth. I haven’t had that in years and the pressure cooker is the magic ingredient, otherwise it takes too long!
    Good luck, I read all the pickle tips, learned a lot. don’t know if I”ve brave enough to do them though. I have made marmelade (I am having a hard time spelling today) from orange, grapefruit and lemons.(Got the recipe from Sunset Magazine about 20 years ago. I lived in Arizona at the time and had both an orange and grapefruit tree in my yard. I just had to trade oranges for lemons with my neighbor It is great tasting but it was a learning experience, too. One time I cooked it to long and you needed a jackhammer to get it out of the jar.!! We all have our successes and failure. Keep on trying!!

  • Barbara:

    Those beans look suspiciously like what we have called Japanese Beans which we’ve grown. We got the seeds in Hawaii in the ’80s and dry the seeds yearly to grow them next year. With ours, two or three beans will grow from one flower bud site and they go from one to three feet long. As for finding beans to pick, I grow yellow wax beans. We are envying your garden-up here in Mass the spring was so wet, cold, and cloudy that only peas grew well. A 25-foot row of cukes has about ten viable plants. So sad. Gardeners do what they can, but Mother Nature has the last laugh always.

  • lINDA:

    I think the pressure cooker would be overkill. I have found that cooking green beans in a skillet is great. I just put a little water in the skillet with the green beans, add some olive oil and salt and pepper and cook on med. until just tender. Just watch that the water doesn’t cook away and the burn. In a few minutes you have wonderful green beans. I use this method for still frozen green beans too.

  • jamoody:

    Thanks! I know it was probably a silly question, but I couldn’t possibly even consider growing them until I had an answer…..Now I can breath easier and do some research!!!

  • Patti:

    Cook up your green beans in a minimal amount of salted water…fry up some bacon in a deep skillet, and add some minced onion. Cook the onion and chopped up bacon in the bacon grease. Drain your green beans and “fry” them with the bacon and onion til just a little browned.

    Alternatively my mom makes “sweet and sour” green beans…same as above but you add sugar and cider vinegar. YUM.

  • I just made that for dinner tonight. Exept- I used a ham hock and cut up ham pieces. It was a winner, even my picky son who eats no veggies- ate this!

  • I’m growing these this year for the first time..they are coming very I’m hoping at some point they pull up their boot straps and get serious!


  • Amy:

    Here’s the only way my children will eat green beans:

    Place them in a skillet with enough water to steam them until just before they’re done. Drain the water (if there’s any left) and plop in a tablespoon or so of bacon grease. You do save yours in a jar in the fridge, don’t you? Saute the beans in the grease and sprinkle on a generous handful of brown sugar (dark is best). Cook until the sugar is dissolved and caramelized. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with bacon if you have some. Sweet, salty, and delicious.

  • Here is my family’s favorite green bean recipe (works well with peas too!)

    Cut into 1 inch squares 5 pieces of bacon. Remove crisp bacon from pan and drain. Reserve.

    In the same pan, saute 1 turnip (yes, turnip) that you cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Saute until golden (soft on the inside, crisp on the outside.

    Meanwhile, blanche the beans in salted, boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to ice water, then drain and dry.

    Add beans to turnips in hot bacon grease, toss around to coat. Sprinkle with dill, 1 tablespoon butter and reserved bacon pieces..


  • Try cutting some kielbasa into bite-size chunks and cooking that with the green beans, along with some diced onions. I use the low-fat turkey kielbasa. Cliff loves this dish.

  • Oh yeah, and in this part of the country we call those long beans “guinea beans”. I have no idea why.