Alice has bean here before, here’s her tips:

  1. Seasonality: Beans are pretty easy to grow (especially broad beans, which you’ll find most often in spring) and are also readily accessible dried or snap-frozen. 
  2. What to look for: I snap off a cheeky bit and give my beans taste before bagging – fresh beans are really juicy and sweet to taste (kind of like a fresh pea). The older they get, the stringier they are (and some varieties never need stringing!), so look for the freshest beans you can find. 
  3. Varieties to look out for: There are so many different varieties of beans available, but some common ones that I find myself reaching for are the glorious green bean, broad beans and butter beans. Let’s talk dried varieties another time, because that opens a whole new can of beans.  
  4. How to store: Beans are pretty delicate in their natural state, so try and use them up as quickly as possible.
  5. How to cook: It really depends on the variety, but a good rule is to blanch them until bright green – which usually takes about 2-3 minutes, depending on size. Broadbeans need to be podded. 
  6. Complementary pairings: Butter, Cheese (especially goat’s, feta, gruyere and parmesan), Garlic, Lemon, Mint, Orange (especially zest).



Foodie Tuesday airs on Drive with Raf Epstein, 4.20pm Tuesdays on ABC Radio Melbourne. For more delicious discussions with Melbourne chefs and foodies, plus thousands of their tasty recipes, check out the archives.