The Trick to Making Green Beans Taste Like a Restaurant's

Get lightly browned and perfectly tender beans in ten minutes.



Whether I’m making an easy weeknight dinner or a more impressive meal for a date night or to share with friends, there’s one vegetable that I know can always rise to the occasion: green beans.

The magic of green beans is that they are so easy to prepare like professional chefs do. Even if my main dish is something as simple as a can of soup, I know that a side of perfectly cooked green beans will make it so much better. While there are many ways to prepare green beans, we think the best method here is a simple sauté, resulting in tender beans with a touch of color.

How to Make the Best Green Beans

Start at the grocery store by looking for firm, bright green beans. They should snap when you bend them, not perform a backbend. If you're purchasing haricot verts, green beans' French cousin, buying fresh beans close to when you want to cook them is essential. Haricot verts are skinnier and more delicate than green beans, which tend to be slightly sturdier. Because of this, they also wilt more quickly.

Before cooking the beans, it's important to trim them. You don't need to cut both ends of each bean; you only need to trim the end that was once attached to the plant. The tail end of the bean is fine to leave as-is. To trim, line up green beans on your cutting board and use a chef's knife to trim many all at once, or use your hands and snap off the ends.

After preparing your green beans, heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Medium heat allows the beans to cook through without burning on the outside, compared to cooking the beans at a higher temperature.

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Once the beans are in the pan, the cooking time will vary depending on their size. It will generally take five to ten minutes. If you bought haricot verts (French green beans), they will cook on the shorter end of that range.

To ensure that your beans get some browning on the outside without resorting to letting them cook too long and turn limp, resist the urge to stir constantly. While stirring occasionally is okay and ensures that all green beans in the pan have the opportunity to cook through, the beans need direct contact with the hot surface of the skillet to brown.

Finally, it's important to note when you should add any seasonings to your green beans. If you're looking for a simple mixture that will pair well with a variety of meals, a combination of onion salt, garlic salt, garlic powder, and black pepper works well. You can add dry spices, such as the ones in this mixture, to the skillet at the same time as the green beans. A flavorful sauce can also enhance your beans. If you are making green beans with fresh minced garlic, do not add the garlic at the same time as the green beans. If you do, the garlic will burn long before the green beans have finished cooking. Instead, add the minced garlic when you estimate that you have about two more minutes of cooking time on the stovetop.

Why You Should Sauté Green Beans

We prefer this method of cooking green beans over roasting them or steaming them for two primary reasons:

1. It's quick. While pan-frying green beans takes only about ten minutes, roasting them in the oven can take up to twenty-five minutes, depending on their size. Plus, we love having the oven free if we're preparing a big main dish.

2. They're more flavorful than steamed or boiled green beans. Steaming this vegetable gives you a crisp-tender texture, but you'll miss the browning you get with pan-fried beans. Cooking green beans on the stovetop gives you the best of both worlds: a short cooking time and great flavor and texture.

One commenter said, "Have made many greenbean recipes over many years. Usually good but not great. This is my KEEPER. Everyone loved it and asked if I used a new recipe. My response I always use a new recipe but not any more! Also super easy to make."

How to Serve Green Beans

In addition to just being downright delicious, we love green beans because they’re so versatile. Here are a few meals that you may enjoy alongside your perfectly sautéed beans:

Read the original article on All Recipes.