Growing up, while we did have a garden, we grew plenty of tomatoes and melons and corn and cucumbers and even red potatoes, but no green beans. I’m not sure why that was. Dad loved his gardens so, and we loved the things he grew, yet no green beans.
For some reason, once his children were grown, Dad took to planting green beans. He cans them and gives them out as gifts. We had a case of home-canned beans that was so well received. As far as canned vegetables go, home canned goodies are the absolute best. Canning is a skill I have not yet developed. Dad is determined to teach me once my garden has expanded to include things such as green beans. We tend to stick with the basics – tomatoes and hot peppers.
Hubby grew up on fresh green beans. His grandmother had a garden and she grew green beans. Until I met Hubby, I don’t think I had ever eaten a green bean that wasn’t canned, be it a can from the grocery store or home-canned from friends. Green Beans were something you opened, heated and served. Sure, I played around with my canned Green Beans, but it’s only been in recent years that I’ve been cooking with fresh green beans. In a strange way, I actually enjoy trimming the beans. Makes me feel so – homey. And I like that.
Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
2 lbs Green Beans, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Butter
3 large Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
Kosher Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Prepare the green beans by trimming the ends and creating a bean that is more uniform in appearance.
Blanch the green beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice cold water to prevent further cooking.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the butter. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the beans and continue to saute until coated and heated through, about 5 minutes.
Add lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.