Can we all just agree that by 2013 we should be able to do better by green beans than dumping canned soup and fried onions all over them? Surely, there is a better way.

Actually, there are lots of better ways. Even if all you do is crisp some chopped bacon in a skillet, then pop fresh green beans in for a few minutes of stir-frying, the end result will still be better (and probably more welcome at the table). But that’s just the start.

To help you get your green bean creativity flowing, we’ve given you a basic recipe for cooking them, plus two ways of finishing them — one with bacon and blue cheese, the other with honey-sweetened spicy coconut. But if neither of those do it for you, use our base, then take those beans in any direction you like.