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Thread: How far in advance can I prep green beans for a salad?

  1. #1
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    How far in advance can I prep green beans for a salad?

    I am preparing for a birthday party Saturday (about 21 people), I want to make a cold green bean salad. Can I clean and prep the beans tonight and steam them and make the salad Friday to serve on Saturday night? Is that too far in advance? I have 4 lbs of beans and various veggies to prep for that one dish. Thanks, any suggestions welcomed.
    "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

  2. #2
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    Let's pretend I didn't learn this info by forgetting about my prepped beans or deciding not to make them. Let's pretend I'm just Uber-Chef and know what I'm doing, OK? Your cleaned, sliced/prepped beans will last lots longer in the fridge than you need them to for this party.

    In addition to prepping beans today (b4 cooking), I think you could make the whole salad on Friday, depending on what else is in it. I don't think beans would get soggy or anything, unless they're swimming in liquid. At least you could steam the beans today or tomorrow, and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking, and prepare the other veggies today thru Friday, and assemble the salad with the dressing on Sat. morning.

    Care to post the recipe?
    If you're afraid of butter, use cream. ~~ Julia Child

    As you cook, you enjoy omniscience about food that no amount of label reading can match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists, you know exactly what is in it. (Unless you start w/cream of mushroom soup, in which case all bets are off.) To reclaim control over one's food, to take it back from industry & science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time, cooking from scratch qualifies as subversive. ~~ Michael Pollan

  3. #3
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    I've never served a bean salad but when I serve warm green beans I steam them in the morning, shock them in cold water to stop the cooking and set the cooler. Drain them VERY well and again in layers of paper towels. Then I roll the whole pile of green beans in paper towels and store them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. Just before serving I heat the pan, toss in already chopped shallots and just heat the beans and get the flavors melded. Easy and good. SO I don't see why you can't steam them the day before as long as they are well drained?

  4. #4
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    Thanks so much for the replies. I was too tired last night, but prepping is first on my list today. I will make the salad today with very little dressing, to avoid it from getting soggy. Really wanted to make it last night but am ready this morning. Thanks again!
    "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

  5. #5
    Thanks so much for the replies. I was too tired last night, but prepping is first on my list today. I will make the salad today with very little dressing, to avoid it from getting soggy. Really wanted to make it last night but am ready this morning. Thanks again!
    Might be too late but I wouldn't add the dressing until Saturday...I make green bean salads often in the summer and they are never as good the next day...plus the color of the beans seems to be off a bit by then...but hey-this is just MHO and it may be the type of dressings I use cause this! I would however, steam the beans etc. and like others said-shock them and then store wrapped in paper towels in a plastic bag.

    Sheila in MD

  6. #6
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    I love green bean salads but I agree with the last poster... don't add any dressing til saturday. I make frequent green bean salads and the next day the beans always look faded, and not as firm. I think the vinegar does it. I'd cook and blanch the beans, dry them in a towel and refrigerate. toss with the dressing saturday before serving. I wouldn't do it more than an hour or two ahead.
    "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

  7. #7
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    Thank You Both! I have to make the cake first. While it is baking I will start the beans, not dressing them until tomorrow. I so appreciate your input, as I would have dressed them~
    "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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