Blanching gives green beans a fresh flavor and the perfect texture. This process is also easy to do if you want to make beans to serve later. To test when a bean is perfectly cooked during the blanching process, take a bean out of the pot, squeeze between your fingers. It should still be firm but with a little give, signaling the green beans are cooked. Once they are blanched the green beans can either be refrigerated and reheated later or served cold. I like to sauté them with garlic, olive oil and a little lemon juice.
This is my absolute favorite way to cook green beans. It’s easy to do and is a hit for date nights, dinner parties or Thanksgiving dinners. It’s an easy preparation for the vegetable and pretty much impossible to mess up! Pair these with butter-basted steak au poivre or surf and turf with garlic herb butter.
Green beans are the star in this recipe seasoned simply with salt, pepper and a bit of lemon juice. When shopping for green beans, look for ones that are firm to the touch.
I recommend using fresh heads of garlic rather than pre-minced jars. Look for heads of garlic that feel firm. The bulb shouldn’t feel dry, hollow or dehydrated! For a shortcut I like buying pre-peeled cloves of garlic sold in vacuum sealed bags.
Heavily salting the water prevents the green beans natural sugars and salts from leeching into the blanching water. It also helps the green beans to keep their bright green color after cooking.
Finishing the green beans with a squeeze of lemon juice adds just the right amount of acidity.
Bring a pot of heavily salted water.
French the beans, removing the strings on both sides with a paring knife.
Boil the green beans to the water and cook until tender
Drain the green beans and add to a large bowl filled with ice water. When the green beans are cool remove the green beans from the ice and drain again.
Sauté the green beans in olive oil with garlic. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Curious about the difference between green beans and haricot verts? Though “haricot verts” is a direct translation from French they actually do have a difference. Typical American beans are thicker and less tender than the French variety. Haricot verts are considered a more “refined” variety of the green vegetable.
If you enjoy this garlic green beans recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:
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