Green Beans with Toasted Garlic

It’s almost July and the farmers’ market is brimming with produce.  Squash, eggplant, new potatoes and beans are all coming in. You’ll see some of each this week.  Last night was a cookout with friends night and I was in charge of side dishes.  I made potato salad, but there was nothing special about it so I didn’t report it.  (Red potatoes, Duke’s, celery and sweet pickle – done).  I bought 3 containers of beans at the market yesterday so doing something with those seemed like a good idea.

I started looking for recipes for green beans and found lots of salads.  I mostly am not a fan of the cold, crunchy green bean so those were out.  Then I picked up my July Cooking Light.  There’s one page in this issue that has four recipes for green beans. Perfect!  I blanched the beans before I left the house and finished the cooking at my friend’s house.  Blanching cooks the beans just enough and seals that beautiful green color in them so don’t skip that step.    The only adjustment I made to the recipe is that I left the garlic in the pan the whole time rather than remove it and put it back.  This is a little tricky because you risk burning the garlic.  Burned garlic is very bitter and strong enough to ruin a whole dish.  I just kept the heat low and kept the garlic moving.  In the end I think it made the garlilc flavor much more mellow, which is a good thing with garlic pieces this big.  Not much else to adjust here.  There are only four ingredients.

When you’ve got produce this fresh simple preparations are the best.  (That said I do have a big pot of beans cooking down with some hamhock.  Comfort food).  In these dishes you really taste the beans and that’s a good thing.  If you’re looking for a new way to do green beans definitely check out these recipes. Cooking Light has kindly listed all of the variations on the same page.  One note about the beans.  Likely you’ll find Blue Lake green beans at your local farmers’ market.  They’ll work great.  You can trim off the stem end and be ready to roll.  You may want to ask though to make sure that’s the bean you’re getting.  You’ll want to avoid “string” beans.  With those you’ll need to snap off both ends and pull the side strings on each bean.  That’s probably more maintenance than you need.

Good? Very good.
Easy? Very easy.
Good for company? Sure.
Special shopping? Nope.

Green Beans with Toasted Garlic

Ingredients

1 pound green beans, trimmed 2 teaspoons butter 1 teaspoon olive oil 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans; cook 5 minutes. Plunge beans into ice water; drain.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil; swirl until butter melts. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Remove garlic; set aside. Add beans; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Top with garlic.

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