Pole Beans and Rattlesnake Beans

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If you are fast enough, to get to the Farmers Market in time to take home some rattlesnake beans before they sell out you are fast, but if you miss out, the regular pole beans will surely do the same for your menu! Green beans are about as present on the Southern table as are mashed potatoes and homemade biscuits. Green beans however, add a splash of color and can easily dress up the most normal of family dinner meals. Hard to believe but green beans can actually be cooked in a variety. Especially when we’re talking about the very mottled rattlesnake beans.

Many folks might not know about the pole bean’s cousin, rattlesnake, so here’s the scoop;

Traditional Pole beans are longer and broader than regular green beans. Pole beans can be flat or round. Always check pole beans for strings by snapping off the ends and peeling back before cooking. Pole beans taste much like green beans, but they are tougher than other snap beans and thus need to cook longer.

The Heirloom Rattlesnake beans are an heirloom variety of pole bean; the bean gets its name from its mottled skin. Cook them as you would other varieties of pole beans. Sadly, once cooked, these beans turn green and lose their dappled appearance.

Here are a few “out of the ordinary” recipes to use when you get home with your fresh rattlesnake and pole beans!


Southern Style Home Cooked Pole Beans


  • 2 pounds fresh pole beans
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Most Southerners will add some fatback or a piece of ham to this mix


  1. Cut beans into 1 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon slices in a large saucepan until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in saucepan. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
  3. Add water and next 3 ingredients to saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add beans; cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 15 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Serves 6 – 8.


Fresh Veggie Ginger Stir-Fry


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root, divided
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/3 cup of snow peas
  • ¾ cup julienned carrots
  • ½ cup halved green beans
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ tablespoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, blend cornstarch, garlic, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until cornstarch is dissolved. Mix in broccoli, snow peas, carrots, and green beans, tossing to lightly coat.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Cook vegetables in oil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Stir in soy sauce and water. Mix in onion, salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon ginger. Cook until vegetables are tender but still crisp.

Serves 6.

Green Beans with Mushrooms and Crispy Onions


  • ½ small red onion, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces small mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 pound fresh green beans


  1. In a bowl, toss the onion with 1 tablespoon of the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, transfer to a plate.
  2. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms, stirring until tender, 5-6 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of flour over the mushrooms and cook, stirring for one minute. Add the milk and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Ad green beans and cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Top with the onions.

***For a little speedier process you could always use the purchased French Fried Onions

Oven-Baked Green Bean Fries


  • 1 pound green beans
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal


  • Spray a Boiler pan with non-stick spray, and preheat pan and oven to 450 degrees.
  • Trim and rinse the green beans, letting them drip-dry in a strainer or colander so not totally dry.
  • Whisk the flour with ½ teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl, set aside. Beat the eggs and milk together in a second wide, shallow bowl.
  • Stir the panko and oil together in a third large wide bowl until the panko has absorbed the oil. Stir in the cornmeal and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt.
  • Toss the green beans in the flour until they are evenly and lightly coated, then shake off excess flour into the colander.
  • Sip a handful of green beans into the egg to coat, then toss in the panko. Transfer to the boiler pan (I use this just because they get good and cooked all of the way around). Repeat until all of the green beans are coated.
  • Bake until the green beans are crisp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serves 4.

Italian Marinated Green Bean Salad


  • 4 cups fresh green beans
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium squash, halved and sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 ounces pepperoni quartered, I use turkeyroni
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, orange, red or yellow
  • 1 – ½ cups good Italian dressing ( I like Olive Garden Light Italian, or making my own)


  1. Cook green beans to bright green and crisp, tender crisp. Place in a large serving bowl.
  2. Add all other ingredients except for dressing and toss.
  3. Add dressing starting with a cup, and stir to combine, add more if necessary. Cover and allow to stand at least 1 hour before serving.