Garlicky, Lemony Green Beans

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Do any of you have recipes that are so simple and easy that you can eat the finished product within 10 minutes of opening starting? While I have no qualms spending hours in the kitchen to make a dish, everyone needs a few recipes in their arsenal that require few ingredients and can be whipped up in minutes.

For me, sautéed green beans with garlic and lemon are a go-to recipe when I don’t have much time and want a tasty vegetable. While fresh green beans are ideal, I’ve made these countless times with frozen green beans (no need to thaw; right from the freezer is a-ok). Besides green beans, you only need garlic, lemon, and olive oil (and perhaps some crushed red pepper flakes, if so desired). Seeing as I usually cook for just two people, the following will serve two, but it can very easily be doubled, tripled, etcetera.

These are intensely lemony and garlicky and they pair nicely with a steak but somehow are delicate and light enough to work well with a poultry or fish dish or lean protein. If you’re not a fan of overwhelming garlic and lemon (I promise it’s overwhelming in a good way), feel free to cut back a bit (although I don’t recommend it).

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Garlicky, Lemony Green Beans

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Fill a large sautee pan with an inch of water. Bring to boil and add salt (you want to add enough salt so that the water tastes of the sea, similar to what you would do with pasta water). Meanwhile, trim the stems of the green beans.

Once water has come to a boil (it should boil quickly), add green beans and blanche for approximately 2 minutes. Drain green beans and immediately rinse in the coldest tap water (the goal is to stop the cooking and ensure the beans stay a vibrant green [you can also place them in a bowl of ice water, but I find my tap water is cold enough]).

Meanwhile, using the same sautee pan you used to blanche the green beans, drizzle in approximately a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sautee for a few minutes, until fragrant, but not browned. Add green beans and cook for 3 minutes, until heated through. Add lemon juice and cook for an additional minute. Before serving, mix in lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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