In a weird way, I feel a bit sorry for green beans. They are one of those foods that has been hijacked by Thanksgiving (cranberry sauce, anyone), served only once a year as the no-one-really-wants-them side dish to turkey. It’s a bum rap, really.
For years, I was as guilty as anyone else. It never occurred to me that green beans could stand on their own. And then my girls came along – and with them came that universal dance of trying to get ANYTHING green into my little people.
At first, the green beans were kids-only finger food. Steamed and simple. As they got older, I began to experiment, adding a bit more flavor for their growing palettes. Without really noticing, green beans became a regular staple for the whole family – an easy-to-make alternative to our normal salads and sautéed greens.
And why not? For such a humble veggie, they really do offer up a healthy dose of nutritional goodness. Rich in dietary fiber, they support healthy digestion and stable blood sugar levels. And, like other members of the bean family, they are also full of antioxidants – key to fending off cancer-causing free radicals. Certainly worth having around more than once a year.
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
sea salt & pepper
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are tender-crisp and turn a bright green, about 3-4 minutes. Drain the beans and then run them under cold water in their colander to keep them from cooking further. Pat the beans dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Once the butter has stopped “bubbling”, add the garlic.
- Stir in the green beans, making sure that they are all well-coated with the butter/garlic mixture. Cook for another minute or until they are heated through.
- Add the parsley and lemon zest. Toss all the ingredients until they are well combined. Season with a generous pinch of salt & pepper to taste..