Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs
Published November 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated
Why this recipe works:
We wanted a green bean recipe that gave us tender, lightly browned, fresh-tasting beans in just one pan. Reversing the conventional process of blanching and then sautéing, we sautéed the beans first, then added water to the pan and covered it, so the beans could cook in some steam. Once the… read more
We wanted a green bean recipe that gave us tender, lightly browned, fresh-tasting beans in just one pan. Reversing the conventional process of blanching and then sautéing, we sautéed the beans first, then added water to the pan and covered it, so the beans could cook in some steam. Once the beans were soft, we lifted the lid to vaporize whatever water remained in the pan and to promote additional browning. A little softened butter added to the pan at this stage gave our green bean recipe richness and promoted even more browning.less
This recipe yields crisp-tender beans. If you prefer a slightly more tender texture (or you are using large, tough beans), increase the water by a tablespoon and increase the covered cooking time by 1 minute. To serve 6, increase all of the ingredients by half and increase the covered cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes. Do not attempt to cook more than 1 1/2 pounds of green beans with this method.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off, beans cut into 2-inch pieces
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Combine butter, garlic, and thyme in small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add water, cover, and cook until beans are bright green and still crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high, and cook until water evaporates, 30 to 60 seconds. Add butter mixture and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until beans are crisp-tender, lightly browned, and beginning to wrinkle, 1 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer beans to serving bowl, toss with lemon juice and parsley; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.