Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Green Beans Sauteed with Onions and Garlic-- or My Sister Loves Green Beans

It's my sister's birthday month.  She loves green beans!

Sides like green beans, carrots, spinach, asparagus--otherwise known as vegetables-- aren't something I usually blog on their own.  Today  I'm  changing all that in honor of my younger sister.   You just  get the words "green beans" off your tongue, and she nearly swoons.  "I just love green beans!" is her immediate comeback.  And it doesn't matter how you make them, she'll eat them and be glad.  In our childhood days, our southern parents would talk about "a mess of beans" for supper.  That could mean anything from butter beans to pole beans to wax beans, but it usually meant a big pot of green beans.  That, along with some bacon or ham thrown in, a pot of rice, a pan of corn bread, and a plate of sliced tomatoes was a typical summer meal.  And, oh, by the way, you wouldn't throw out the juice or "liquor" the beans were cooked in because you might want to dip your corn bread in it or add your rice to the bowl for an instant soup, though no one would ever call it that.

These days, I make green beans in many ways.  I love fresh beans, dislike frozen ones, and will still make a midday meal out of canned beans and leftover anything probably two or three times a month.  I cook fresh beans in the microwave to eat plain,  slowly in a big pot with ham (a la Mom), and also boil/microwave  them quickly and then saut√© them in a bit of butter with onions and garlic if, as in the above pic, they're skinny and new beans like haricots verts.  If I don't feel like the splurge of the butter (and it doesn't take much) I  add a lot of black pepper to the water, drain them quickly, and then squeeze a  lot of fresh lemon over the bunch with a pinch of fleur de sel or kosher salt.   If you make this mess of beans, you'll have enough vegetables for a few days (stored tightly wrapped in the refrigerator) or can make a salad out of them (add mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, fennel and vinaigrette or see below for a recipe).  Try this:

green beans with onions and garlic
  • 1# fresh green beans*
  • 1T butter  (or olive oil for vegan option)
  • 1/4 c chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Place green beans and 1/4 cup water in a large, microwave-proof dish with lid or covered with plastic wrap.  Microwave on full-power 2-3 minutes until nearly tender.  Drain.  In  the  meantime,  heat butter/oil and  onions in a large, deep skillet over medium heat and cook until onions are  softened.  Add  drained  beans and garlic.  Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.  Season well with pepper and a bit of salt.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.  

*In a pinch, of course you can use canned beans.

If you liked this, you might also like  Rosemary Green Bean Salad

Whole meal

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

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