Skip the Green Bean Casserole and Make Garlic Green Beans
Every year, millions of Americans make the classic green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup. But what do you do when you don’t like green bean casserole? Garlic Green Beans is my favorite green bean dish, whether it’s Thanksgiving or not. It’s especially good in the summer when the green beans are fresh and readily available. I use only fresh beans for Garlic Green Beans, although sometimes I use yellow wax beans, either in part or as a complete substituted for the green beans. They have a tender flavor that lends itself well to the garlic flavor. It just depends on what’s available and what looks the best at the grocery store.
Fresh Ingredients for Garlic Green Beans
I’ve found that the fresher the ingredients, the better the Garlic Green Beans. If you’ve never worked with fresh green beans before, there is just a little work that you need to do before cooking them. “Snapping” them is the most important. When you snap a green bean, it means you snap the ends off with your fingers, just by holding the bean in one hand, grasping the end of the bean, and breaking it off. Beans will snap where they are fresh, much like the end of asparagus spears. If your beans have “strings”, meaning when you snap them, a string-like fiber pulls from the point of the bean there it opens, you’ll need to pull that off all your beans or they will be stringy when you cook them. Most beans nowadays are of the stringless variety, especially in the grocery store. Once you have them snapped, rinse them in a colander under cold water and shake to dry a bit. A little water in this recipe is ok, but you don’t want too much.
- 2 lbs green beans, snapped, stringed, and washed
- ¼ C (½ stick) butter (not margarine!)
- 6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped, or whole
- Heat a saute pan over medium high heat.
- Add the butter and garlic, stirring until the garlic turns soft.
- Add the green beans and toss to coat. Allow to cook until beans start to brown slightly.
- Stir again and cook another minute or two, until beans are crisp-tender.
- Serve hot.
Garlic Green Beans in Minutes
I have yet to find a way to make this recipe ahead of time and keep the beans all crispy and deliciously caramelized. However, since making Garlic Green Beans really only takes a few minutes of stovetop time, I prepare my beans by washing and snapping them a few hours ahead of time, placing them in a bowl in the fridge. When I’m ready to make Garlic Green Beans, they are ready for me to toss them in the pan and in about 5 minutes, I have a savory dish to share with my family and guests. So pass on the old standby casserole and make something fresh this Thanksgiving with Garlic Green Beans.