Easy Weeknight String Beans

March 4, 2014 | By | COMMENTS

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The name of the game on a weeknight, as far as I’m concerned, is “big results, minimum effort.” Recipes that meet that criteria are few and far between, but when you hit on one (like the roasted broccoli, for example) you’ll never forget it.

Meet your new string bean side. You won’t need your old recipes anymore, because all you have to do is memorize this one. It’s pretty flawless.

It comes to us from legendary cookbook author Penelope Casas via Food52. The premise is wildly simple, though I tweaked the ending. Are you ready?

Step One: trim the ends of your string beans, wash them in cold water and then pat them very dry.

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Step Two: Melt a tablespoon or two (I say two) of butter in a large skillet on high heat until the foam subsides and the butter is very hot. Add all of your string beans and toss around in the fat. Don’t salt yet, you want them to brown.

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Step three: when you see brown spots on the string beans…

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…sprinkle with salt, cover the pan, and lower the heat. The string beans will now cook in their own juices for 15 minutes. Start checking after 10, though, because you might want your string beans al dente.

Step four: just before they’re done add 1 (or 2) cloves of garlic, minced. Toss them all around; so the heat cooks the garlic a little. Take off the heat.

The final step, which is my own, is to add lemon juice. I think it perks everything up. Taste for salt and acid (maybe it needs more lemon) and that’s it. Serve it up, with chicken breast if you like.

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See what I mean? A pretty unimpeachable recipe. And a new weeknight staple for you and me.

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Categories: Recipes, Sides

  • Chung

    “Step One: trim the ends of your string beans,” or you can skip that, like what Adam did.

  • http://seafoodie.me Ryan

    Unfortunately my girlfriend doesn’t let me do that. I’m stuck trimming the ends every time

  • Krista Kamer

    How funny, I was just searching for your blog because I made the broccoli two days ago and wanted to share the recipe with a friend. It was easy to find since you mentioned it in this recent posting! And I have to say, it really is that good!!!!

  • David

    Those aren’t string beans, those are snap beans or bush beans; string beans are much wider, actually have inedible strings along their entire length, and grow on vines.

  • Evan

    String beans, snap beans, bush beans, all the same thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_bean. Sounds like you’re describing snow peas.

  • jeri

    This technique works really well for asparagus too, just reduce the covered cooking time. The pencil thin ones only need a minute or two, large ones a few minutes more. The little squeeze of lemon is really great on asparagus, or a drizzle of sesame oil.

  • http://otm-inthegalley.blogspot.com/ SeattleDee

    …or a splash of white balsamic vinegar.

  • http://otm-inthegalley.blogspot.com/ SeattleDee

    …or a splash of white balsamic vinegar.

  • http://otm-inthegalley.blogspot.com/ SeattleDee

    …or a splash of white balsamic vinegar.

  • http://otm-inthegalley.blogspot.com/ SeattleDee

    …or a splash of white balsamic vinegar.

  • http://otm-inthegalley.blogspot.com/ SeattleDee

    …or a splash of white balsamic vinegar.

  • Karen in Dallas

    I don’t like green/string beans. At all. But I needed to switch up some veges last night and I thought I’d try your recipe. Mistakenly I let the butter go a bit long so it was a nice brown butter, then added the beans, followed your instructions (including lemon), and voila. Green beans that were good. Yay!

    So, hey, thanks man!

  • Barbara

    I love this kind of preparing vegetables. Like jeri, I also cook green Asparagus this way and add lemon, lemon zests and a few flakes of Parmigiano. Great with Salmon.

  • Claire Zulkey

    These look great and I’d love to try although it’ll be hard for me to do
    something that involves any more work than roasting pre-trimmed green
    beans, which I like because it’s delicious and I can practically do it
    in my sleep.

  • Claire Zulkey

    These look great and I’d love to try although it’ll be hard for me to do
    something that involves any more work than roasting pre-trimmed green
    beans, which I like because it’s delicious and I can practically do it
    in my sleep.