Green Beans, Three Ways

Three easy ways to prepare fresh green beans.

Fresh green beans can be a healthy, easy and nutritious side dish for just about any meal.  There are several ways to prepare this vegetable, each of which delivers a mildly different flavor and texture.  Green beans, especially in the spring and summer, are easy to find, economical and can be grown in just about any back yard, rooftop, or container garden.  When fresh beans are not available, frozen is a great alternative to enjoying this veggie all year long.

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Rinse and Remove Top Stems from Beans

If you’re buying fresh beans from the produce section of your local grocery store or farmers market, the beans will likely still have stems attached.  Snap or cut off these top stems (and feel free to leave the bottom portion, as this is a part of the bean that can be consumed).

Next, place the beans in a colander and rinse with water before cooking.

Beans will keep in an airtight bag or container, refrigerated, for up to two weeks. If the beans are being refrigerated for an extended time, make sure to keep the beans free of moisture to prevent decomposition.

Method #1: Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Oven-roasting is an easy and delicious way to prepare green beans.  Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees.  Add about 1 lb. of fresh beans to a bowl, and top with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste (a few grinds of each), and 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, if desired.  Gently toss the beans to coat with the oil and seasoning, and spread evenly on a baking sheet.

Roast the beans for about 20 minutes.  The beans, along with the garlic, will caramelize nicely in the oven, taking on a wonderfully rich flavor.  Remove from oven and serve right away.

For additional texture and flavor, sprinkle about 1/4 cup of sliced or slivered almonds to the top of the beans 5 minutes before removing from the oven. The almonds will toast along with the beans, and add a nice crunch to the final product.

Method #2: Steamed Green Beans

Steaming is a very healthy, flavorful way to prepare green beans.  No oil or fat is necessary for preparation, so the true flavors of the vegetable will shine through. 

Using a sauce pan with a steamer basket, add about a 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan.  Place 1 lb. of rinsed, fresh green beans into the basket. Add a tight fitting lid to the pan.  Bring the water in the pan to a boil over medium heat.  Once the water begins to boil, the steam will cook the beans.  Steam for about 5-7 minutes, and toss to ensure the beans cook evenly.  Steam for 5 additional minutes, 10-12 minutes total.

Once the beans are done steaming, transfer to a serving dish and top with lemon juice, and lemon zest if desired. Top with salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Method #3: Sautéed Green Beans

Unlike steaming, sautéing green beans will require some type of fat.  A great way to add additional flavor to sautéed green beans, is adding bacon.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 3 slices of chopped bacon.  Cook the bacon for 2-3 minutes, until its fat begins to render.  Add 1 lb. of fresh, rinsed green beans, and gently toss with the bacon fat and pieces.  Sauté the beans and bacon for about 7-10 minutes, stirring often.

Transfer to a serving dish and top with salt and pepper, if desired.  Serve right away.

About delightful.e.made

Erin, the “E” in Delightful E Made, delights in sharing the best of all that she cooks, bakes, creates and loves.  She has a true joy for being in the kitchen and making things for the people around her.  Follow her on Facebok, Pinterest and Instagram.