Recipe Box

How to Make Beany Buttons

If you love green beans, you’ve probably had them every way possible. French cut, snapped, and whole. Pressure canned, sauteed, roasted and boiled. So the next time your garden gives you too much bounty, or you find a great bargain at the market, why not try making beany buttons?

We keep quart bags of these in the freezer, and use them mainly for tossing into soups and ramen bowls. But I’m sure you can think of lots of other dishes that would benefit from a small beany button invasion. Try some on a salad, or added to a stir-fry, perhaps. Feel free to comment if you have a great idea so everyone can try it! Oh, and you can do this with yellow wax beans, too. 

Slice fresh, raw beans into little rounds (buttons!)
Blanch the buttons in boiling water for no more than two minutes.
Drain the blanched buttons and let them cool and dry for about five minutes.
Dump the cool beans (hah, I said ‘cool beans’) onto an ungreased, raised-rim cookie sheet. Choose a cookie sheet that will fit into your freezer. There’s no need to empty the freezer to make room, just make sure there’s about an inch clearance all along the top, and slide the pan in on top of your frozen foods.
Once the buttons are hard-frozen, use a metal spatula to crack them off the cookie sheet. Transfer them to ziplock bags (I use quart size) and put them back in the freezer.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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