3 Easy-Peasy Ways to Cook Green Beans

It can be really easy to screw up cooking green beans. If you look away for just a minute, delicate beans can go from crisp-tender to over-cooked and mushy, and there’s no turning back. Plus when they’re at their peak, green beans have a vibrant green …

It can be really easy to screw up cooking green beans. If you look away for just a minute, delicate beans can go from crisp-tender to over-cooked and mushy, and there’s no turning back. Plus when they’re at their peak, green beans have a vibrant green color and lovely spring flavor that shines when they’re barely cooked. Before your beans lose their brightness and a staple side dish is ruined, learn how to cook green beans three ways—boiling, steaming, and sautéing.

How to Prep Green Beans

No matter how you cook them, it’s important to properly prep them. This means thoroughly washing and scrubbing them and then trimming the ends of any scraggly bits using kitchen shears or a paring knife. Haricots verts (aka French green beans) often come pre-trimmed, but be sure to give them a once-over to avoid eating any undesirable scraps. Discard or compost any beans that have brown or mushy spots and move forward with the rest.

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What to Cook (When You Don’t Know What to Cook)

Do you ever open the fridge and just stare at it for a while, wondering what to cook? Us too. Sometimes, cooking funks arrive without warning—and they don’t care whether you have a pantry full of groceries, or are having friends over in two hours, or a…

Do you ever open the fridge and just stare at it for a while, wondering what to cook? Us too. Sometimes, cooking funks arrive without warning—and they don't care whether you have a pantry full of groceries, or are having friends over in two hours, or are hungry literally right now. But look, you’ve still gotta eat, and a handful of cereal absolutely won't do.

Sure, takeout is always an option, but we consulted a few Food52 editors and contributors to find out what they cook when faced with what-to-cook situations, like a rapidly ripening farmers' market haul or a desperate craving for comfort food. Because maybe you’re in a rut, aren't feeling your best, or are simply in need of some kitchen-inspiration...and just want to be told what to cook. (We get it.)

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How to Make the Best Grilled Scallops

The best grilled scallops are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside—perfect to plunk on top of arugula salad, buttered spaghetti, creamy risotto, you name it, or served alongside everything from potato salad to charred corn. The worst gri…

The best grilled scallops are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside—perfect to plunk on top of arugula salad, buttered spaghetti, creamy risotto, you name it, or served alongside everything from potato salad to charred corn. The worst grilled scallops, meanwhile, are overcooked and rubbery and not at all what we want.

To help you reach Peak Scallop Perfection (it's out there!), we called in food writer and classically trained cook Christine Burns Rudalevige, who shares her top nine cooking tips below—plus, a ruby red grapefruit and chile glaze that the scallops totally love. (Psst: They also love an extra-cold rosé to go with.) And for even more A+ grilling recipes, tips, and tricks, check out our book Any Night Grilling by Paula Disbrowe. Now, fire up the grill and let's get started. 

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What to Do With Crunchy, Sweet & Spicy Peppers

It’s the season of overflowing market bags, heavy CSA boxes, and gardens run amok. Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra Cooks is showing us how to store, prep, and make the most of the bounty, without wasting a scrap.
Today: How to store…

It's the season of overflowing market bags, heavy CSA boxes, and gardens run amok. Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra Cooks is showing us how to store, prep, and make the most of the bounty, without wasting a scrap.

Today: How to store, prep, and make the most of the season's pepper crop, whether you have just a handful or you picked so many you should be called Peter Piper. Start with Yotam Ottolenghi's marinated pepper salad.

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How to Cook Black Beans for Stews, Burritos & Dips

Everyone, and I mean everyone, should know how to cook black beans. If the idea of beans that don’t come from a can is news to you, I’m not here to judge. We all start somewhere. Even in the U.S., where beans have been cultivated for millenia, there’s …

Everyone, and I mean everyone, should know how to cook black beans. If the idea of beans that don’t come from a can is news to you, I’m not here to judge. We all start somewhere. Even in the U.S., where beans have been cultivated for millenia, there’s been an explosion of heirloom varieties just in the past few years as people move beyond the can. Heirloom bean producers like Rancho Gordo have spread awareness that the variety of delicious dried legumes available is nearly infinite. But when it comes to burritos, I have strong feelings. As much as I love pinto and refried beans, I think a good burrito needs black beans. They’re meaty, and almost mushroomy at the same time, and great on their own. In fact, they’re the beans I cook most often at home. And they’re much, much better when made from scratch. If you’ve always eaten your beans from a can, here’s a simple guide for how to cook black beans.


Black Beans, Explained

The common bean—the species that includes black as well as pinto, kidney, and cranberry beans—was first cultivated in southwestern Mexico around 7,000 years ago. The bean itself is a seed, consisting of an embryonic plant (which becomes the sprout), surrounded by two hard, nutrient-rich leaves called cotyledons, which are in turn encased in a hard, water-resistant seed-coat. Beans are full of nutrients, particularly starch and protein (three times as much as in wheat or rice), and also packed with flavor. Like many other seeds, dried beans are tough, and need some coaxing to transform into the tender, creamy morsels I spoon over, well, everything.

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The Essential Knives I Learned About From ‘Kitchen Confidential’

The late, great Anthony Bourdain became a household name at the turn of the millenium thanks to his memoir, Kitchen Confidential, which was published in 2000, and has been in print ever since. The collection of essays is famous for its strong opinions …

The late, great Anthony Bourdain became a household name at the turn of the millenium thanks to his memoir, Kitchen Confidential, which was published in 2000, and has been in print ever since. The collection of essays is famous for its strong opinions about everything from garlic (“Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic.”) to vegetarians (“Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit.”). And, of course, knives.

Like many culinary authorities, Bourdain believed you don’t need a lot of knives to do a lot of cooking. His bare essentials included a chef’s knife, paring knife, offset serrated knife, and flexible boning knife. (And unless you’re breaking down animal parts on a regular basis, you can skip that last one and manage just fine.)

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How to Make Overnight Oats Without a Recipe

Here at Food52, we love recipes—but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don’t always need a recipe, you’ll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.
Multitasking always seems like a better idea than it is. I…

Here at Food52, we love recipes—but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Multitasking always seems like a better idea than it is. It's just an innocent, time-saving technique until one day, as you're texting, listening to music, and writing an essay at the same time, you end up texting your mom about how annoying your mom is. Whoops!

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The Best Thyme Substitutes for All Your Dishes, Savory & Sweet

Have you ever heard that folk ballad, “Scarborough Fair”? You know, the one that lists a bunch of herbs in the middle of every verse: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme? Though it was popularized in the 1960s by singer-songwriter duo, Simon & Garfu…

Have you ever heard that folk ballad, "Scarborough Fair"? You know, the one that lists a bunch of herbs in the middle of every verse: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme? Though it was popularized in the 1960s by singer-songwriter duo, Simon & Garfunkel, the song has roots in Medieval England; it's named after a big open-air market that took place in Scarborough, a town outside of Yorkshire, in Northern England. At the fair, all sorts of merchants, farmers, entertainers, and visitors would gather for food, drink, revelry, and, yes, stocking up on herbs.

Back then, herbs were prized for their numerous purported medicinal and healing powers: parsley, for settling the stomach and curing toothaches; sage, to treat epilepsy, liver failure, and fevers; rosemary, for everything from cleaning teeth to warding off evil spirits. Thyme, the most powerful of them all, was long associated with courage, bravery, and strength on the battlefield; it was known to be an antidote to poison, a preventer of the plague, and a lot more.

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How to Make Vegetable Stock Without a Recipe

We love recipes—but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don’t always need a recipe, you’ll make your favorite dishes a lot more often. Here, we show you how to make soups and stews more flavorful with what…

We love recipes—but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often. Here, we show you how to make soups and stews more flavorful with whatever vegetable scraps you have on hand—or the cheapest produce at the market.

If you're not already making your own vegetable stock, you should start now.

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash: A Noodle-y, Saucy Love Story

According to specialtyproduce.com, the first known record of spaghetti squash was made in 1850. A short 163 years later, I made my own first record of it in a crowded restaurant in downtown Manhattan, in the form of an iPhone note.

Yes, I was a little…

According to specialtyproduce.com, the first known record of spaghetti squash was made in 1850. A short 163 years later, I made my own first record of it in a crowded restaurant in downtown Manhattan, in the form of an iPhone note.

Yes, I was a little behind the curve (the low-carb craze had hit the U.S. many years earlier), and yes, I was already several decades into my life—both facts featured prominently in my note. But most important, as outlined in all caps, was a single question: "WHY HAVE I NEVER HAD THIS BEFORE?"

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