Trimming a couple of pounds of beans for our fresh Green Bean Salad might take you a while—if you trim them one at a time, that is. Here’s our strategy for quickly tackling a mound of beans:
Start at the store. When you pick out your green beans, don’t toss them into the bag in a jumble. Instead, pick them out one at a time and line them up in the bag with all the stems together. This takes a few extra minutes (and, yes, it does make you look a bit obsessive), but it’ll pay off at home. Plus, you won’t end up with any rejects, as you might if you pick your beans by the handful.
Trim a handful at a time. Grab a small handful and lightly tap the stems on a cutting board until they’re all lined up. Cut all the stems off with a single chop of a chef’s knife. In the test kitchen, we like how the pretty tail ends look, so we trim only the stems. But if you’d rather or if the tails look less than perfect, feel free to trim them off, too.
Wash the beans after you trim. Now that they’re trimmed, you can toss them into the colander for rinsing without keeping them lined up.