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Piquant Wax Beans

Beans yellow wax1

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Beans yellow waxPiquant is a flavor that can be spicy, tart, or pungent.

In this recipe that combines wax beans with chopped pimiento, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard, I think we are on the border between spicy and pungent.

The wax bean is a pale yellow variety of green bean. Sometimes called yellow snap bean, the wax bean gets its name from its waxy textured skin.

There are two varieties of wax bean you might want to try in your garden: ‘Mellow Yellow’ is crisp and sweet tasting–it’s not a big plant either; ‘Gold Mine’ is ultra-sweet and a big producer. Both produce beans that measure from 5 to 6 inches (13-15 cm) long.

The pimiento is a red heart-shaped sweet pepper that is sweeter, more succulent, and more aromatic than the red bell pepper.

Both the wax bean and the pimiento are late summer and early fall vegetables so they should be easy to find at your farm market this weekend.

I found this recipe in a summer harvest cookbook by Beryl M. Marton called Out of the Garden Into The Kitchen. It’s not in print anymore, but you might find it at your used bookstore.

Piquant Wax Beans

To serve 6


1½ pounds (¾ kg) yellow wax beans, cut into julienne

4 slices bacon

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped pimiento

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vinegar

½ teaspoon (2 ml) sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) dry mustard

Tabasco to taste


1 Boil the wax beans until just tender and keep them warm.

2 Dice the bacon and sauté it in skillet until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and reserve 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the grease.

3 Add the bacon to the hot beans. Add the remaining ingredients to the bacon fat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour over the beans and toss. Serve at once.

Yellow beans particularly complement baked ham.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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