When the beans are very small and young, merely take off the ends and stalks, and drop them into plenty of spring water as they are done; when all are ready wash and drain them well, throw them into a large saucepan of fast-boiling water, salted as usual (see page 229), and when they are quite tender, which will be in from twelve to eighteen minutes, pour them into a cullender, shake the water from them, dish, and send quickly to table with good melted butter in a tureen. When from half to two parts grown, cut the beans obliquely into a lozenge form, or, when a less modern fashion is preferred, split them lengthwise into delicate strips, and then cut them once across: the strings should be drawn off with the tops and stalks. No mode of dressing it can render this vegetable good when it is old, but if the sides be pared off, the beans cut thin, and boiled tender with rather more than the ordinary proportion of soda, they will be of excellent colour, and tolerabry eatable.
Boil, and drain them thoroughly; put them into a clean stewpan, or well-tinned iron saucepan, and shake them over the fire until they are very dry and hot; add to them from two to four ounces of fresh butter cut into small bits, some white pepper, a little salt, and the juice of half a lemon; toss them gently for a few minutes over a clear fire, and serve them very hot. Should the butter turn to oil, a spoonful or two of veal gravy or boiling water must be added.
Prepare as many young and freshly-gathered beans as will serve for a large dish, boil them tender, and drain the water well from them Melt a couple of ounces of fresh butter, in a clean saucepan, and stir smoothly to it a small dessertspoonful of flour; keep these well shaken, and gently simmered until they are lightly browned, add salt and pepper, and pour to them by degrees a small cupful of good veal gravy (or, in lieu of this, of sweet rich cream), toss the beans in the sauce until they are as hot as possible; stir quickly in, as they are taken from the fire, the beaten yolks of two fresh eggs, and a little lemon-juice, and serve them without delay. The eggs and lemon are sometimes omitted, and a tablespoonful of minced parsley is added to the butter and flour; but this, we think, is scarcely an improvement.
Beans, 1 to 2 quarts: boiled 15 to 20 minutes. Butter, 2 ozs.; flour, 1 dessertspoonful; salt and pepper; veal gravy, small cupful; yolks of eggs, 2; lemon-juice, a dessertspoonful.
When young, freshly gathered, and well dressed, these beans, even with many persons accustomed to a luxurious table, are a favourite accompaniment to a dish of streaked bacon, or delicate pickled pork. Shell them only just before they are wanted, then wash, drain, and throw them into boiling water, salted as for peas. When they are quite tender, pour them into a hot cullender, drain them thoroughly, and send them to table quickly, with a tureen of parsley and butter, or with plain melted butter, when it is preferred. A boiled cheek of bacon, trimmed free of any blackened parts, may be dished over the beans, upon occasion.
20 to 30 minutes; less, when very young.
When the skin of the beans appears wrinkled, they will generally be found sufficiently tender to serve, but they should be tasted to ascertain that they are so.