Last October, when green beans were still arriving in our farm share, I deeply regretted not sharing months earlier one of my favorite ways to prepare them.
I learned the recipe seven years ago, and it’s possible you know it, too, because Kristen Miglore wrote about it in her Genius Recipes column on Food52.
The genius of this recipe is that it doesn’t call for boiling or blanching or shocking the green beans. Rather the beans enter a skillet with a bit of butter, crushed-but-not-peeled garlic cloves, water, and a pinch of salt and pepper. After 8 minutes covered over medium heat, the green beans emerge cooked but not mushy, glazed in a light, buttery sauce infused with just the right amount of garlic. To finish, you shave parmesan over the top and shower with more freshly cracked pepper.
Every time I make this recipe, I am astonished by how effortlessly it comes together and even more, by how quickly it disappears — children and adults alike love this one.
Friends, the summer green beans are so good right now, and if you haven’t given this one a go, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s maybe the lowest-effort, biggest-reward recipe I know.
PS: Blistered, Garlicky Green Beans
Simple Skillet Green Beans, Step by Step
Into a skillet, combine 1 pound of green beans, 4 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup of water, 2 cloves garlic (crushed but not peeled), salt, and pepper.
Cover. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn heat to low. Cook 8 minutes.
Serve just like this …
… or shave parmesan over the top if you wish. (And you do!)
- 1 pound green beans, stem ends trimmed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed but not peeled
- Kosher salt or flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- freshly grated Parmesan to taste, optional
- Combine the green beans, butter, water, and garlic cloves in a large skillet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a simmer, then immediately turn heat to low once water is simmering.
- Cook for 8 minutes or until the beans are cooked through but not mushy. Transfer beans to a serving dish. Shave parmesan over the top if you wish. Crack more pepper over the top if you wish, too.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American, French
Keywords: green beans, stove top, butter, water, salt, parmesan