When I got home from vacation, my green beans had passed their prime. The pods had changed from vibrant green to a dull, tired shade and the beans inside these protective sheaths were no longer tender and yielding but large and a little bit starchy.
I pulled one of these pods apart and decided to resurrect the beans. If time had beaten me to the beans, I’d devote more time to getting them back.
In the end, resurrecting my bean crop was a successful and satisfying project but one I’ll never repeat. It was just too labour intensive. The first required task was to cut open each bean pod and collect the beans. Then I blanched the beans and discovered that they had a tough, waxy outer skin that had to be removed by hand.
Eventually I had a small bowl of beans that I dressed with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger and a bit of garlic. They tasted delicious but could easily have been replaced by a handful of frozen edamame. In other words, in less than a minute I could have had the same final result.
The lesson: sometimes trying not to waste produce can be a real waste of time.
Check out this article for more info on the subject of cooking mature green beans.