Beans town

Green beans

Illustration by serene lusano

String beans, wax beans, pole beans—they have lots of different names but are essentially the same family of legumes. Yardlong beans, found in Asian markets, are a different plant, but you can cook them similarly. Instead of just steaming these beans, try pan-searing them with bits of bacon or roasting them with a coating of oil and tahini. They also make a dramatic side dish encircling the entrée. Green (or yellow or purple) beans are also great as a quick pickle and a garnish for your brunch Bloody Mary. And, of course, tempura-fried beans are the best kind of snack.