Green beans are one of our go-to vegetables. They’re quick, easy to make, and frozen green beans are an affordable way to get some delicious veggies on the table anytime of the year. Even better, they’re a simple dish kids can help prepare.
The secrets to great green beans, though, are a bit elusive for some. I’ve found success boils down to three key points:
- Closely watch your green beans, especially if you’re new to cooking. If you need to, set a timer to remind you to check in on them. Overcooked green beans taste dull and get watery and mushy. So do your best to cook your beans so they’re bright green, tender, and crunch just a little when you bite into them.
- A little flavor goes a long way. Green beans don’t need much to help them go from ho hum to wow … and that’s what this recipe does. A touch of real butter, salt, pepper, and lemon highlights the fresh taste of green beans and really packs some punch.
- Experiment with different ways to garnish your green beans. If you’ve got little kids, garnishing the whole batch may be out of the question. You can always keep the garnish on the side for the adults or older kids at the table.
There you go … simple, easy green beans that can be made with your kids, and enjoyed by the entire family!
- 1 pound green beans or haricot vert, trimmed and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice (about a half of one lemon)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sliced almonds or pine nuts, sautéed lightly in olive oil until lightly brown
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced and sautéed in olive oil. When shallots are tender and translucent serve on top of green beans and add ½ cup of diced tomatoes.
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Cook beans in 4-quart saucepan of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Beans should be bright green, tender, but still have a crunch when done!
- Drain water.
- Add butter, lemon juice, and season to taste.
- Garnish if desired.
You may also choose to steam your green beans. If so, place the green beans in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover, and cook until tender but still firm, about 8-10 minutes.
Kitchen Resources and Tips:
- If you’re boiling these green beans, a great, multipurpose colander is definitely something you should consider! I bought this OXO Good Grips colander as a replacement for a really old plastic one that I had bought at a dollar store in the 90’s. Who knows what kind of weird plastics and hormone-disrupting chemicals were in that old one. Yikes! Maybe it’s time you invest in a new colander as well.
- If you’re more into steaming your green beans, here are some options for you. For years I used the classic, stainless steel steaming basket, and it’s worked fine … but boy do I love my new steaming basket from OXO. Its handles stay cool making it easy to move food around, it’s heat-resistant up to 600 degrees, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and BPA free! Target and other retailers carry these gadgets too, as well as appliances dedicated to steaming rice and / or veggies.