Easy Weeknight String Beans

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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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